They begin with small or medium turnips which are cut in small pieces. If the peel is not too tough, you can leave it on. It is important that the turnips not be too large as they will be stronger and more bitter than smaller turnips. The ones I use tend to be about the size of a child's fist (as long as your child is not a giant).
They get tossed with a little olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and pepper and are roasted until tender and caramelized. Now, I am sure you do other root vegetables in a similar method, but if you have never tried turnips roasted like this, you must. They become caramelized on the outside, creamy on the inside, and almost candy-sweet. At this point, they are ready for the syrup glaze.
Let's talk about sorghum for a minute. Southern Living magazine recently published a turnip recipe using sorghum. In their recipe, the turnips were cooked in liquid rather than being roasted, but it got me thinking that the sorghum I had in the cabinet would be a great replacement for the honey I usually use when roasting turnips. Sorghum is a popular syrup used in the southern US. It is similar to molasses but lighter in color and not as strong. It is derived in a similar way as sugar cane syrup but from a different type of cane grass. It is sometimes difficult to find outside of the South. You can purchase it online or use honey or maple syrup instead (like I have always done in the past). You may even consider using molasses, but be careful as molasses is a little stronger and could easily overpower the turnips. The sorghum gives the glaze a unique flavor while also sweetening the turnips a little, and I am happy to now have a use for sorghum beyond biscuits, cornbread, and desserts.
Roasted Turnips with Sorghum Syrup
2 pounds medium sized purple top turnip roots
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons sorghum
1 tablespoon water