Turnips are roots that you can eat raw or cooked, and they have a slight bite to their taste. They are related to cabbage and are planted in summer for harvest as a fall vegetable. Look for smaller turnips, no bigger than 3 inches across, although larger turnips are certainly edible. Cut them up as you would other hard vegetables.
Slice off both ends of the turnip with a medium to large knife. Take off only the trailing portion of the root and the top part from which the greens sprout; save the greens for use in other dishes.
Peel the turnips with a vegetable peeler or small paring knife. The turnip’s round shape makes using a vegetable peeler somewhat awkward, as you won’t be able to take off long strips of peel at once as you can with a carrot; instead, you’ll have to make several swipes all over the surface of the turnip and take off smaller bits of the peel. A paring knife, though, is slower going because the blade can catch on tough turnip flesh and suddenly break free, increasing your risk of cutting yourself.
Chop the turnip into chunks, strips, rounds or dice shapes using the larger knife. Big turnips in particular can become tough, and you want the leverage a larger knife handle will provide. Keep your fingers out of the way of the knife; if you are not cutting the turnips into rounds, cut them in half and place the flat end of one of the halves facing down for a steadier hold.