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Cooking + Entertaining

Simmered turnip greens: the recipe for a tasty and spicy side dish

Simmered turnip greens: the recipe for a tasty and spicy side dish


turnip greens (net of waste)

extra virgin olive oil

you also need

extra virgin olive oil

THE Stewed turnip greens I am a outline typical of the regions of southern Italy, in particular of the cuisine of Salento, in Puglia: here they are called ‘nfuquerthat is, “drowned”, because they are not boiled in boiling water but pan-fried with sautéed extra virgin olive oil, garlic, chilli and bay leaf. It is enough to add a glass of water and, after covering the pan with the lid, the turnip greens are left to simmer for about 20 minutes until tender and tasty.

Stewed turnip greens are served with slices of toastpreferably that of Altamura, drizzled with a drizzle of raw extra virgin olive oil, and are excellent to accompany grilled meats and succulent roasts; they are also exceptional with eggs, to season pasta, such as the famous orecchiette, with dishes based on legumeslike the typical Apulian broad bean puree, or they can be used to garnish delicious and fragrant pizzas or rustic cakes.

Find out how to prepare them by following the step-by-step procedure and tips. Also try pairing with sausages, ideal for Winter.

How to prepare slow-cooked turnip greens

Get the most tender leaves and inflorescences 1.

While you clean the turnip greens, place them in a bowl filled with cold water 2.

Rinse the turnip greens thoroughly under cold running water to remove any earthy residues then drain them. 3.

Pour extra virgin olive oil into a large skillet 4.

Add two cloves of garlic 5.

Perfume with two bay leaves 6.

Add the whole chilli or if you prefer the powder 7. Let it fry for a few minutes.

Add turnip tops and salt 8.

Pour a glass of water 9.

Mix with a wooden spatula ten.

Cover with a lid 11. Simmer the turnip greens for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The simmered turnip tops will be tender and shrunken 12.

Serve the turnip greens with slices of toasted bread, drizzled with a drizzle of raw extra virgin olive oil 13.


If you don’t like the spicy flavor or if you want to give them to children, you can omit the chilli or replace it with sweet chilli.

To flavor your simmered turnip greens, you can add a few fresh cherry tomatoes or dried, black olives, desalted capers or, for a sweet and sour taste, a spoonful of raisins.


Stewed turnip greens can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for two days. If necessary, it is recommended to reheat them in a saucepan with half a glass of water.

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