Salad and vegetable recipes

Turnip greens How to cook and prepare them well

Turnip greens How to cook and prepare them well


  • Easy
  • 15 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 0.7 € / person
  • 70kcal per 100g.

Turnip tops, nabiza or cimo. What are they and how to cook them?

For Galicians, turnip greens are part of our DNA. And for many years, due to emigration, more.

All of us who are outside of Terriña try to dispose of them to remove the morriña from eating a lacón with turnip tops .

There are hundreds of recipes for this winter vegetable , the turnip leaf. And on the blog you know that we have many, in the form of an omelette , with a warm cream or accompanying a stew .

What are turnip greens?

The turnip , also known as nabiza or cimo is the vegetative and edible part of the turnip. It is a vegetable widely consumed in Galicia when the cold weather arrives, but it is also an important part of Portuguese and Italian cuisine.

  • Turnip greens are turnips. A stem with a thickness between 1 and 2 centimeters from which many spiked leaves come out and at the end the flowers, which are yellow in color.
  • The turnip is an intense green color, and this color is accentuated as the flowering season of the plant approaches.
  • It has an acidic flavor, and at the same time presents a characteristic mild bitter and spicy flavor.
  • It has a slightly fibrous texture given the low content of dietary fiber it contains. It is a source of vitamins such as A, K and C and of trace elements such as potassium, iron and calcium.

Cook the turnip greens

  1. They are normally collected after the strong frosts in January, which makes them more tender and less acidic.
  2. Although in areas like “A Ribeira Sacra” you can find them until well into February, a great ingredient from the Carnival or Entroido era .
  3. For the first option we must put a casserole with plenty of salted water (to taste, I recommend a generous handful of salt, about 20 grams).
  4. Another tip (optional) is to add a pinch of baking soda (the tip of the knife, 2 grams, no more) this will help to fix the color of the turnip greens. This trick is valid for other vegetables such as spinach or Swiss chard.
  5. When it starts to boil, we cook them for 10 to 12 minutes. It depends on the thickness and tenderness of it. It is important that we test them.
  6. Refresh in cold water, drain well and reserve.

I remind you that its intense green and fibrous leaves are a great ally of a healthy kitchen due to its high content of water and fiber, carbohydrates, proteins and very low in calories.

How to preserve turnip greens for the whole year


This technique is the most common, the easiest and the one that everyone can do at home. It’s the one my mother used to do. First we have to choose, wash and cut the turnip greens as if we were going to consume them. After this, they are blanched (in hot water for 2-3 minutes) and drained very well so that you do not have water. They freeze directly like this, well stretched in zip freezer bags, with a good seal.

Vacuum packed

The first phase in the same as the previous one, we choose, wash and blanch the turnip greens. The important thing is that when making the vacuum, we leave enough space in the bag so that the excess water does not overflow.


When we have them cooked as I explain above, then cool, dull and in a water bath for about 20 minutes. We will have turnip greens for the whole year.

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