Tea Foodie [by Zanitea]

a journal of tea-inspired foods and recipes

Buckwheat Tea-Braised Turnips with Poppy Seed Bread Crumbs

The first time I had a roasted grain tea was several years ago at The Slanted Door in San Francisco. It was a roasted barley tea, and it was a surprisingly flavorful and refreshing way to end a fabulous Vietnamese-inspired meal.

My friend, Allison, with whom I had that cup of roasted barley tea, recently shipped me a bag of roasted buckwheat tea from the Harney & Sons tea shop in Manhattan.

roasted buckwheat tea

The buckwheat is even better than the barley tea I remember from The Slanted Door. When steeped, the roasted buckwheat is rich and malty and has a toasty sweetness to it. (Buckwheat is technically a seed, not a grain like barley, but it has a similar style to a roasted grain tea.)

While I was searching around for something to do with a beautiful bunch of turnips from the farmer’s market, I found an easy and interesting braising recipe on Epicurious.com.

farmer's market turnips

I adapted the recipe to braise the turnips in buckwheat tea instead of water, and I added the steeped buckwheat to the poppy seed bread crumbs that finish the dish. Oh, and I threw in the turnips’ greens at the last minute.

buckwheat tea-braised turnips with poppy seed bread crumbs

These turnips make for a light but satisfying vegetarian meal. They would also be great as a side with grilled or roasted meats.

Happy cooking and sipping!

Buckwheat Tea-Braised Turnips with Poppy Seed Bread Crumbs

 (Adapted from the Braised Turnips with Poppy-Seed Bread Crumbs recipe on Epicurious.com.)

Makes about 4 servings



1 ½ cups water

2 heaping teaspoons roasted buckwheat (dry)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 lbs medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

1 to 2 cups turnip greens (or other hearty greens, like mustard, dandelion, or collard), roughly chopped

Bread Crumbs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup fine bread crumbs from a fresh and crusty bread, like a ciabatta or baguette

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

steeped buckwheat from the turnips recipe

salt and pepper, to taste



1. Boil the water, pour it over the roasted buckwheat, and steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Strain, and save both the tea liquid and the steeped buckwheat.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turnips, buckwheat tea liquid, lemon juice, and salt to the skillet, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

3. Increase heat to medium, stir the turnips, and briskly simmer, uncovered, until all of the liquid has evaporated and turnips are just tender, and slightly brown and caramelized in spots, about 20 to 30 minutes. Turnips should be cooked through, but still retain their shape. You’ll want to keep checking on them. Just before the liquid has completely evaporated, place the greens on top of the braising turnips, and allow the greens to wilt. Stir gently to combine once the liquid has evaporated.

Bread Crumbs

4. While the turnips are braising, prepare the bread crumbs. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 1 minute. Add the bread crumbs, poppy seeds, and steeped buckwheat, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

5. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the braised turnips when you’re ready to serve. This dish is best served warm, but it’s still nice and flavorful at room temperature.


  • I didn’t use all the bread crumbs on the turnips, so I tossed the leftover bread crumbs with roasted cauliflower for another meal the next day.
  • If your turnips didn’t come with greens attached and you don’t want to try another hearty green, toss the bread crumbs with chopped parsley or cilantro just before serving.


  • Use any roasted grain or seed in place of the buckwheat, or try braising the turnips with your favorite black tea.
  • This dish would work well with other hearty root vegetables, like celery root, parsnips, or beets.

Please share your comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new blog posts by email.

Join 132 other followers

Proud member of FoodBlogs

About Zanitea

Combining a love of tea and food through hand blended teas and cooking with tea inspiration.

%d bloggers like this: