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Turnip greens: beneficial properties and many delicious recipes

Turnip greens: beneficial properties and many delicious recipes

Turnip greens are very tasty and full of health benefits. Let’s see how to cook them!

Turnip greens, scientific name Brassica rapa, are vegetables belonging to the family of Brassicaceae, typical of Southern Italy, in particular Apulia, Campania and Lazio regions. The parts  used while cooking are the inflorescences in bud, called friarielli in Naples, and the more tender leaves.

Typical of winter, in the Campania and in the Apulia regions turnip green tops are the main ingredient of some famous typical dishes, for example sausage with friarielli and the turnip greens orecchiette pasta. These vegetables are very tasty and also rich in beneficial properties. Let’s learn something more!

Turnip greens: properties

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Turnip greens are rich in vitamins (especially A, B2, C and E) and minerals (phosphorus, iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, and potassium). Thanks to its high levels of iron, associated with vitamin C, which facilitates iron assimilation, this vegetable is perfect for people suffering from anemia and those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, in order to prevent mineral deficiencies. They are also rich in vegetable proteins. To improve the assimilation of these nutrients, it is better to eat them just boiled in water and lemon juice.

Vitamins A and C have important antioxidant properties and help strengthening the immune system. Another substance turnip greens are rich of is folic acid, essential during pregnancy to prevent fetus malformations, such as spina bifida. Finally, these precious vegetables are a source of fibre and they have diuretic and detoxifying powers.

Turnip greens: side effects

This vegetable do not have side effects However, people suffering from kidney stones or other kidney disease should only consume them boiled, because they contain purines, which may cause problems.

Turnip greens: recipes

Turnip green tops cooked in a pan are a typical dish in the Campania and Apulia region. This recipe is very easy: first of all, clean the tops, removing the external leaves, and rinse under running water. Then, cook in salted water for about ten minutes. In a pan, brown a clove of garlic with chili pepper and olive oil. When the turnip greens are soft, put them in the frying pan and finish cooking.

Cooked this way, turnip greens are a perfect side dish. Eat them with sausages, according with the Campania region tradition, or on toast. Moreover, you can use it to to make the orecchiette pasta, typical of the Apulia region. If you prefer to cook in more light way, just blanch them and dress with oil, salt and a little lemon.


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