If you are growing your own, wait till they are about 3 inches tall (7.5 cm.) When harvesting, the bottom leaves tend to be bitter; leave those behind.
Among the best varieties of Turnips for greens are All Top, Seven Top, Shogoin, and Topper.
Choose crisp greens with deep colour that have no yellowing or bug holes.
A plastic grocery bag full will feed 4 people.
Wash very well to get sand and dirt off, remove and discard stems. Remove the tough rib in each leaf, unless you plan on a very long cooking time, in which case don’t bother.
Young leaves are mild enough to eat steamed. Otherwise, the greens have a very sharp, strong taste and need low and slow cooking with other ingredients. Simmer for about two hours.
Avoid cooking in aluminum or cast iron.
People with goiter or thyroid issues may wish to consult their doctors before eating Turnip Greens, as the leaves contain goitrogens (which would be fine for anyone else). Turnip Greens can also interfere with the body’s absorption of calcium, if taken at the same meal as a food with calcium.
If you purchased a whole turnip, root and all, remove the leaves before refrigerating. Store the root for separate usage; store the greens unwashed in the fridge in a plastic bag for up to 3 or 4 days.
Brought to North America by Europeans. In the American South, white people would eat the roots and give the leaves to the slaves.