Any Southerner will tell you that turnip greens are just as delicious as the vegetable itself. In this recipe, we use the leafy tops of baby turnips to make a bright and flavorful pesto that dresses roasted turnips. We recommend buying the smallest turnips possible, but if you can only find regular-sized turnips, simply halve and quarter them.

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Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke, Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
40 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 425°F; place a rimmed baking sheet in oven 5 minutes while preheating. Trim turnip stems to 1 inch. Cut trimmed turnips in half lengthwise to measure 6 cups. Chop turnip greens to measure 4 cups. (Reserve remaining turnips and greens for another use.)

  • Toss together halved turnips, 2 tablespoons of the oil, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl; spread in one even layer on warmed baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until tender and golden brown, about 18 minutes.

  • While turnips roast, place 2 quarts water in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high. Add chopped greens; cook about 30 seconds. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain boiled greens, submerge in ice water, and stir once. Let stand until cold, about 1 minute. Remove greens, and squeeze out excess water. Transfer to a food processor.

  • Add pecans and garlic to the greens in the food processor, and process until a paste forms, stopping to scrape down sides as needed, about 1 minute. With processor running, pour lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup oil through food chute in a steady stream, processing until smooth, about 1 minute. Add Parmesan, honey, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper, and process until blended, about 10 seconds. Set pesto aside until ready to serve.

  • Transfer roasted turnips to a serving platter; drizzle with pesto.