Turnip gratin

May 25, 2014 at 7:35 pm (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), breakfast, Cruciferous rich, Derek's faves, Fall recipes, Necessarily nonvegan, Root vegetables, Spring recipes, Vegetable dishes, Website / blog, Winter recipes, Yearly menu plan)

It’s (still) turnip time! So on to new turnip recipe #2 for this year: a rich and satifying turnip gratin inspired by this photo recipe on The Pioneer Woman Cooks blog.


  • 4 whole turnips (I think I used 2.5 pounds, but next time would use 3 pounds)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (I used 4)
  • 2 cups gruyere cheese (I used 8 ounces)
  • 4-6 Tbs. butter (I used 11g, so jut under a Tbs.)
  • chicken broth (I used 6 Tbs. homemade vegetable broth)
  • heavy cream (I used 6 Tbs. light whipping cream)
  • salt (I used 1/2 tsp. fine salt, but would cut it back next time)
  • black pepper, to taste

My notes:

Rather than make it in a cast-iron pan I made it in my 12-inch stainless steel skillet, and there was plenty of room. I could have easily added another 1/2 pound (or more) of turnips. I didn’t peel my turnips.

Some recipe have you bake the gratin for 90 minute, but the Pioneer Woman says it only takes 20 minutes—uncovered! I was skeptical, but we checked it after 20 minutes and indeed it was done. The turnips were still a bit on the toothsome side, but in a nice way. Maybe cooking it for a shorter time helps prevent the crucifer stink of overcooked cruciferous veggies?

Between the vegetable broth and the cream the gratin was very soupy. Derek said he liked all the “pot liquor” but I think next time I might use less vegetable broth, maybe cut it in half to 3 tablespoons total. Then again, perhaps all the liquid is what makes the gratin cook so quickly? But presumably the turnip are going to release liquid as they cook as well…

Also, Derek liked the saltiness but the dish was very salty. I think next time I’d cut it back to 1/4 or 3/8 of a teaspoon fine salt.

I was a bit nervous about this recipe, but it was delicious. Both Derek and I loved it. Derek particularly liked how intensely garlicky it was, despite only having 4 cloves of garlic in it. We ate it for breakfast and I was impressed at how filling it was. I ate about 1/4 of the gratin, which is about 415 calories (a pretty typical breakfast for me), and I wasn’t hungry for lunch until about 3pm!

Other recipes for turnip gratin call for fresh herbs of various sorts. Maybe next time I make it I’ll try adding some thyme or rosemary or parsley. But it was pretty darn good jut with the garlic, salt, and pepper.

Rating: B+
Derek: A-

Nutrition facts: 1/6 of the recipe has 277 calories, 19g fat, 14g carbs, 3g fiber, 14g protein, 48% of vitamin C, and 49% of calcium. So it’s definitely a high fat. low carb recipe.

For those looking for a lighter recipe, Martha Rose Shulman has a “recipe for health” that calls for 2 pounds of turnips but only 4 ounces gruyere, no butter, and 2.5 cups low-fat milk instead of cream.



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