Turnip Risotto (Risotto alle Rape)

I don’t cook a lot with turnips and I was wondering what I’d do with the turnips that I had bought for variation’s sake. I decided to turn them into a risotto, and it turned out wonderful. This is not a traditional Italian dish that I know of, but just a demonstration that you can make a great tasting risotto from just about anything using the basic recipe for risotto, fresh ingredients and a good homemade stock. We really love risotto and I usually prepare some type of risotto at least once a week. Since making risotto the traditional way requires a bit of time (about 45 minutes if you already have the stock), this is usually something reserved for the weekend (which luckily includes Friday as I don’t work on Fridays).


For 2 servings

2 turnips (about 450 grams / 1 lb)

1 shallot, chopped

130 grams (2/3 cup) risotto rice

500 ml (2 cups) homemade vegetable stock

4 Tbsp butter

80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine

salt and freshly ground white pepper

4 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

1 Tbsp chopped fresh flatleaf parsley


Wash and dry the turnips. Cut off the top. Cut into 1.5 cm (1/2 “) cubes.

Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Add the turnip cubs and season with a bit of salt.

Sauté until the turnips start to become tender, about 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring the vegetable stock to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to a mere simmer.

Move the turnips to a plate or bowl using a slotted spoon. (You can also leave them in the pan while you toast the rice, but this makes it easier to toast it properly.)
Melt another tablespoon of butter in the pan and add the shallot. Sauté for a few minutes until translucent.

Add the rice and toast for a few minutes until the rice is very hot and translucent at the edges.

Add the white wine and stir until most of it has evaporated.

Add a ladle of the hot stock.

Put the turnips back into the pan. Keep adding stock, one ladle at the time, and keep stirring until you have used up all of the stock and the rice is al dente. (Taste to test this.) This takes about 16 minutes. If you run out of stock, continue with hot water.

Turn off the heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter in small cubes, half the parmigiano and parsley.

Stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Let this stand for a few minutes.

Serve on warm plates with the remaining parmigiano and parsley.

15 thoughts on “Turnip Risotto (Risotto alle Rape)

  1. Never thought of the humble turnip for risotto. This must be excellent. Very earthy? BTW, I cooked a mushroom stuffed leg of lamb. I used porcini as one of the mushrooms, reserving the liquor. I made the gravy on it. It was amazingly good. Thanks for the earlier tip. Post to follow.


  2. Hi, Stefan. Lovely post, as usual. I’ve never considered turnips in risotto. We like turnips but use them in a mash or with their greens and some bacon as a nice side dish. You’re always very creative in your approach. Gotta love it. 🙂


  3. As many times as I’ve enjoyed turnip greens, i really cannot remember the last time I ate the turnip bulb. This does look good, though, Stefan. Well done.


  4. Canadians eat turnips, and rutabagas, too. I love them, especially in winter when local veggies are scarce. It’s rice I don’t like much, unless its wild rice or brown nutty rice. I wonder if you can make risotto with these sorts of grains? I’m especially into whole grains this month 🙂


  5. Hi Stephan. You mention that this is not an Italian dish but there is a variation: turnip, rice and parmesan soup. I made this a few weeks ago and it was fabulous. I was just about to turn it into a risotto myself but you beat me to it. Lovely post!


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