Southern Turnip Greens is a dish that I love to serve. Fresh turnip greens cooked with turnip roots is a delicious addition to any meal. Southern turnip greens and roots tastes fresh with a unique flavor that lightly touches the sweet, savory and bitter on your palate. My love for them has evolved over time.
Soul Food and Southern Turnip Greens
Southern turnip greens have always been on the dinner table throughout my life. I don’t recall the first time that I ate greens. I do recall the first time that I had greens that tasted of magic. My Dad invited an elderly friend, Sister Miles to our house to cook her special greens. He really wanted the recipe. Sister Miles really wanted to keep it.
Our family devoured the pot of turnip greens. I wish I had been smart enough to stand in the kitchen and watch her create the mouth-watering greens loaded with spices and some type of pork fat. Memories of those greens left an impression on my young mind.
Randomly Dad would drive Sister Miles to the market and we would wait for the magic in our kitchen. Dad would harass her for the recipe and she always would politely reply “No baby, just come pick me up and I will cook the greens”. I enjoyed her in our kitchen with her easy laugh and I loved her greens. Secretly, I was in awe of someone telling my Dad, “No”.
Fast and Easy Southern Turnip Greens
Home cooks and chefs look for ways to adapt recipes to their kitchen, life style, time restraints, budgets,customers, health and flavor palate. My Granny Theda Faye introduced me to my next type of Greens. Granny’s focus was saving time and money. After my divorce Granny would come and visit with us. As a single Mom, saving time and money is important always.
On one of her visits I returned from work to find Granny in the kitchen with a great home cooked meal. One of the items served was southern turnip roots in greens. Of course, they were delicious. I asked Granny for the recipe. She giggled as she proudly went to my trash can and pulled out a large can of “Gloria’s turnip greens”.
I was in denial. The greens tasted fresh and delicious. The shortcut was using canned greens but only this brand. If you have ever cleaned fresh greens you realize the time savings. Undoubtedly, she had tried several and found them lacking in taste. Granny’s secret was to buy lots of fresh turnip roots and add them to the pot of canned greens. The fresh brought new life to the canned greens along with garlic. Nice trick Granny.
“Jes Greens” or Southern Turnip Greens
My turnip greens have evolved over the years adding in different spices, jalapeño peppers or proteins. When I married Grill Man he raved about his Momma’s greens. I thought that I cooked good greens until I had her flavor combination. The first time that I had Wathon’s turnip greens, I was amazed that they did not have anything added other than salt and pepper. No jalapeño peppers or meat added or needed. It was “Jes greens”.
Turnip greens pulled fresh from the earth, cleaned thoroughly and properly prepared are a special offering. Under Wathon’s instructions, I have learned to cook greens so that it is all about the fresh sweet, savory and bitter combination that the greens and turnip roots offer. Enjoy the flavor of Southern turnips greens, they need very little else. Thanks, Mom.
I have enjoyed the offerings from many talented cooks that whip up a simple vegetable from the garden into a mouth-watering dish. Farm to table is hard combination to beat. Add a slice of cornbread or skillet bread to my plate and I am happy. It is possible that turnip roots in greens is an acquired taste. I love them.
Turnip greens are an healthy addition to any diet. Food should give us nutrition in addition to enjoyment and fuel for our bodies. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan and low in calories. Buy a bunch and serve a dish that says “I must love you!” It is so worth the extra work!
Alexa Shout Out to the band from Denmark, Turnip Greens for Creole Man.