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Turnips caramelised with butter and wine recipe image

Print Turnips caramelised with butter and wine

Riverford Cook Anna learnt this indulgent method for cooking turnips while working at Chez Panisse, the restaurant in California which inspired Guy to open the Riverford Field Kitchen. There they use dessert wine in the recipe for extra floral sweetness. The recipe works best with baby turnips cut into quarters, although medium-sized ones also work well (avoid big, tired looking ones). Caramelised turnips are a great match for roast lamb and duck.


  • 700g small or medium sized turnips
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 200ml white wine, preferably sweet
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • Salt & black pepper


  1. Unless they are baby, peel the turnips. Cut lengthways into quarters if small, or sixths or eighths if bigger. You should have even-sized wedges. Place the wedges in a frying pan that is not quite wide enough to hold them in one layer.
  2. They should look a little crowded, but not be piled more than two deep. Add the butter, wine, sugar and a generous pinch of salt then pour in cold water to almost cover.
  3. Cook over moderate heat, moving the turnips around occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until tender. By the time the turnips are tender, the water should have completely evaporated, leaving just the sugary butter in the pan. If the water is evaporating too fast, add a little more.
  4. Once the water has evaporated and the turnips are tender, continue cooking them, shaking the pan occasionally, until the wedges are nicely caramelised around their edges. Check the seasoning and serve hot.
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