Typical foods are essential to get into the atmosphere. Nothing like a traditional food to evoke all the charm of a specific time of year or celebration. In Galicia it is usually given to the neighbors in the winter months and especially in the carnival season a bunch of turnip greens, being the pork shoulder with turnip greens a very typical dish in Galicia.
Turnip greens are a vegetable that is part of turnips Brassica y brassica rapa depending on its Monfero or Lugo white variety, among others. This food has the PGI quality seal (Protected Geographical Indication), that is, it is a very important part of the gastronomic culture of Galicia.
Turnip plants develop and form turnip flower, so before starting to form the flower you can consume these leaves that are very tender. The development stage just before flowering when they have tender stems is also known as turnip greens.
After the flower appears the stem is too fibrous to consume. From the point of view of form, turnip greens are stem leaves, lance-shaped flowers of a characteristic dark green color and a taste between bitter, acid, a touch of spice and slightly nutty.
The texture is fibrous but not too much. Like most green leaves It contains antioxidants and vitamins and minerals such as potassium, iron, and calcium.
Origin of turnip greens
Los grelos is the name by which the turnip flower bud and they must be collected before flowering so that they are tender, edible and accompanied by their characteristic flavor.
There are many variants of this vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae. Many varieties are grown and consumed in different parts of Europe, Asia, and the United States.
Since turnip greens are part of turnips, they are found together as far as their origin is concerned. Turnips, like cruciferous vegetables, are low and temperate..
Grow them in autumn It is the ideal and in this way they are part of the winter diet. In Galicia there are two production areas for turnip greens, one in Santiago and another in Lugo, hence the names Grelos from Santiago and White Globe from Lugo which are one of the most commercialized for consumption.
When the turnips of the variety Brassica napus and Brassica rapa the bulb is underground, having leaves that are known by the name of turnip greens.
Care and cultivation
The ideal time of year for sowing is in spring and autumn, being able to start in August if the temperatures have started to drop. The land must be well fertilized and ready to grow and the depth in which the seed will be placed is three centimeters.
The land must be humid, so if it rains it should not be watered but otherwise it will be necessary to supply the necessary water on the ground. When growing turnips and turnip greens should be done carefully to avoid damaging or making the plant sick.
Turnips can be obtained a month and a half after planting and turnip greens from two to three months, turnips are harvested after forty days.
Sown correctly they will hardly have any disease, but it should be noted that they are the favorite dish of moles. You can take advantage of the land and sow with peas since this association is ideal for the land and vegetables.
Properties and uses
The consumption of turnip greens is very beneficial for the diet. Provides excellent nutrients and contains glucosinolate, an antioxidant that is very effective in preventing cancer. They should be cooked until their color intensifies and they begin to give off their smell in order to preserve the nutrients.
Thanks to the calcium levels they contain They are ideal for the health of the bone structure avoiding osteoporosis problems.
Turnip greens should be consumed by pregnant women because they contain iron that is very necessary at this time when the fetus is developing. It does not have many calories making it ideal for diets and turnip juice is recommended for people who have diabetes.
Turnip greens are one of the most profitable crops that can be had in the orchard. Three different types of food provide many vitamins, minerals and fiber. In addition, it is harvested quickly and they are delicious to the palate of any culinary presentation.