Braised Turnips with Poppy-Seed Bread Crumbs


  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter 
  • 1 1/2 cups water 
  • 2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs from a baguette 
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds 
  • 1 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped sage


Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, then add turnips, water, lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium and stir turnips, then briskly simmer, uncovered, until all of liquid has evaporated and turnips are glazed and just tender, 20 to 35 minutes (they should be cooked through but still retain their shape). 

Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add bread crumbs and poppy seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt to taste. Just before serving, sprinkle bread crumbs over turnips.

Gourmet | February 2008 

by Farid Zadi