Peas and Turnips with Dill Butter

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

I use dill butter to flavor fish and vegetables so often I guess you could call it one of my culinary signatures. I grow fresh dill in a window box outside the side door, away from the ocean, where I can see it from the dining area window. I also grow boxes of parsley, tarragon, thyme, basil, and rosemary in this protected place and it’s not unusual for me to get inspiration for a dish just by gazing at the profusion of herbs. I can’t have much of a garden on the island because of the deer, so I have become very content with the herbs. Herb-growing season was long over when I made this dish up one year for Thanksgiving, but I managed to get fresh dill in the market. Everyone decided they liked this as much as the more traditional mashed turnips I usually make.

Turnips are available in the freezer section packaged in 1¼-pound bags and cut into ½ inch cubes. If you prefer, use these instead of fresh.

Serves8 to 10

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursevegetable

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, low carb, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free


Taste and Texturebuttery, herby, meaty, salty, smoky

Type of Dishvegetable


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 bacon slices, crumbled (optional)
  • 1¼ pounds turnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups) (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Two 16-ounce bags frozen petite peas thawed


In a small bowl, mix together 6 tablespoons of the butter and 3 tablespoons of the dill to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The dill butter may be made 2 days ahead if covered and refrigerated.)

In a skillet, sauté the bacon, if using, over medium heat until brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Let the bacon cool to room temperature.

In a large nonstick skillet, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the turnips and sauté for about 9 minutes, or until tender and golden. If you find the turnips taste sharp, add a little sugar.

Add the peas and dill butter and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, or until the peas are heated through and the butter melts.

Stir in the bacon, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, garnish with the remaining tablespoon of dill, and serve.



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