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I bought  a turnip.... Toplef10I bought  a turnip.... 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
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There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

I bought  a turnip.... I22gcj10I bought  a turnip.... 14dhcg10

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Post  middlemamma 1/7/2011, 3:31 pm

Now what?

Someone (smart) suggested that I try one before I grow them...so I bought 3 actually and now I have no clue what to do with it. LOL

I have a bag of gourmet (LOL) baby potatoes and thought about chunking them up, doing the same with the turnip and roasting...would that be good?? Should I peel it?

Help! affraid
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Post  boffer 1/7/2011, 4:02 pm

No need to peel. We eat them raw in salads, or baked with potatoes. For a hearty meal bake turnips, beets, potatoes, and winter squash all together.
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Post  LaFee 1/7/2011, 4:03 pm

roasted or mashed; both are good...

Peel if they're big and a little woody, otherwise don't worry.
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Post  ander217 1/7/2011, 6:03 pm

Before you cook all of them, cut a few into sticks or slice and eat raw with salt, or dip into hummus.

The old Southern way to cook turnips is to boil the heck out of them in water with a little salt, bacon grease, and even a spoonful of sugar added. I prefer them raw or roasted but I still occasionally slice a few and boil them, but only just until tender.

Around here they used to boil them until they turned dark and mushy. Ugh! I suspect that is where turnips got their bad reputation.
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Post  middlemamma 1/7/2011, 6:25 pm

Yeah I was kinda wondering about their bad rep...I remember my mother (a Yankee) who retold a story often of how when she visited her mother in law (southern GA) she cooked a turnip and it stunk to high heaven. ??? I never have ate them exactly for this reason. Is that normal? Did she have the vegetable name wrong? Do they have a strong smell?

What about a beet? The only way I have ever eaten beets is like a can of pickled beets. Could she have mistaken a turnip for a beet?

I wish my food knowledge was better...I am realizing quickly my palette (palate?) has been highly sheltered. (lol, especially when Ander starts writing... nanana) Love you Ander!

Jen
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Post  Megan 1/7/2011, 6:39 pm

They can smell a little funky, in a brassica kind of way, while being prepared/cooked. No more so than any other brassica though, perhaps less than others, especially when they are small.

I grew up in New England and mashed turnips was high on my list of favorite things. My mom bought bags of them frozen and cut up in cubes (not sure why, as we had a huge vegetable garden) and would boil them, not too long, and mash them up with butter and s/p. Then the next day she'd mix leftover mashed turnips with leftover mashed potatoes, and make wonderful potato pancakes! My mashed turnips have never been as good as mom's, and I've never figured out why. And she doesn't remember how she did them. Sigh!

I don't think there's any way to mistake a turnip for a beet, even if it's a golden beet. Turnips and rutabagas, now.... those can be mistaken. The turnips I know are white and purple. Rutas are golden and purple, usually much bigger, and milder, in my opinion.

Jennie, when I first moved out to California, my vegetable palate was pretty darn narrow. And there I was amidst all sorts of crazy veggies I'd never seen or heard of before. I found a neat book that introduced me to the basics of a wide variety of veggies and fruits (sadly, I think it's out of print, now), but there is a REALLY good website that you might like: http://www.foodsubs.com. I have learned a lot from it.
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Post  middlemamma 1/7/2011, 6:47 pm

Well I like boiled cabbage so I have no idea what she was talking about then. My grandma always made boiled dinner: Cabbage, potatoes, carrots and some ham of some kind...I always loved that dinner.

Thanks for the info guys!
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Post  Megan 1/7/2011, 6:50 pm

If you like boiled dinner you will have NO problem with the scent of turnips!
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Post  miinva 1/7/2011, 6:59 pm

I usually either roast them or steam them. They're yummy either way, although my very favorite is rutabagas, which are sometimes referred to as swedish turnips.
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Post  Blackrose 1/7/2011, 7:00 pm

Boiled dinner! We have a "Newfie" version here called "Jiggs Dinner". My mouth is watering for it. It consists of boiled potatoes, carrots, turnips, cabbage and salt beef. If you don't know what salt beef is, it's beef that is preserved in a salty brine.

Named after an Irish Comic Book Character: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bringing_Up_Father

Not good for the blood pressure, but oh so yummy! I may just have to make some soon.



Last edited by Blackrose on 1/8/2011, 11:33 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed spelling of "Jiggs Dinner" and added definition as to not to offend anyone.)
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Post  middlemamma 1/7/2011, 7:05 pm

Maybe have to try a rutabaga too Smile

Blackrose is that what everyone eats at St Patty's Day here? Corn Beef?

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Post  miinva 1/7/2011, 7:20 pm

I planted some rutabaga seeds, but they barely came up and I didn't get a harvest, although I should probably head out there and dig around and make sure there aren't any hiding underneath Smile I think I planted them at the wrong time.
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Post  Blackrose 1/7/2011, 8:23 pm

@middlemamma wrote:Blackrose is that what everyone eats at St Patty's Day here? Corn Beef?

No.. Corned Beef is different. There are a bunch of spices in Corned Beef. Salt Beef is just beef brined in plain salt water. It just has a very salty taste, no other flavourings.
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Post  middlemamma 1/7/2011, 10:15 pm

oh, gotcha Blackrose.

Ok the verdict is I liked it both ways! Will try mashed next go around:)


Next on my list try a beet and try rutabaga. Smile

Any tips on cooking those!
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Post  miinva 1/7/2011, 10:36 pm

We rub our beets with olive oil and then bake them until we can stick a fork in them Smile You can prepare any root vegetable in similar ways, actually. I love them in soup, roasted, baked, steamed... it's all good!

We're big fans of Good Eats and my mouth watered when we watched the episode that included Parsnip Muffins. Yummy! I'm going to go post the link in the recipe section too Smile
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Post  ander217 1/8/2011, 9:12 am

@middlemamma wrote:
Next on my list try a beet and try rutabaga. Smile
Any tips on cooking those!

One of my favorite ways to cook beets is to roast them - peel raw beets, (a vegetable peeler works great) - cut them in quarters or eighths, toss with a little salt and olive oil, and roast on a sheet pan at 400 degrees until tender. My favorite roasted combo is beets, yellow summer squash, and onions. It makes a really pretty dish, and surprisingly the beets don't bleed too badly all over everything else on the roasting pan.

I also like them in a German salad. I boil them before peeling (always leave about an inch of tops on when you cook them to prevent so much bleeding of the purple juice while cooking), - cook them tender, cut off the tops and roots, slip the peels, grate, and toss with a little salt, vinegar, and sugar. I stir in sour cream just before serving. This salad is also good with grated apple added, served on a bed of greens.

I also enjoy Harvard beets, an old-fashioned recipe. Cook and peel beets as above. Slice or dice. In a saucepan, make a sauce by bringing 1 1/2 c. water to a boil. Add about 1/2 c. sugar - more or less to taste, and 1/2 c. vinegar - more or less to taste, and a pinch of salt. When boiling, dissolve 1 1/2 Tbsp. of cornstarch in a little water and add to sauce, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Add beets and heat through. Stir in 1 Tbsp. butter and serve.

When I made Harvard beets for my kids, after dinner they were allowed to pour some of the leftover beet sauce onto their cleaned plates and finger paint with it. I guess I was kind of a weird mom, but we had a lot of fun.
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Post  miinva 1/8/2011, 12:47 pm

If you rub washed but unpeeled whole beets with olive oil and then bake them in a covered dish until you can stick a fork in them, you can take them out, let them cool, then rub them with a paper towel and the skin will slide right off! I love this trick because my hands don't get all red from peeling.

We pickled some beets and I loved putting the juice on my cottage cheese because it turned the most beautiful color Very Happy

Also, I was thinking this morning that it's probably worth mentioning that most store-bought rutabagas have a wax coating on them that needs to be removed before you eat them. Having eaten rutabagas from the farmer's market that weren't the size of a cantaloupe, I'm looking forward to growing some of my own because the flavor of the market vegetables was definitely superior. Surprisingly, though, even the great big ones from the grocery store have nice flavor once you tackle the chore of cutting them up Smile
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Post  Megan 1/8/2011, 1:29 pm

This thread has me giggling now. Here is a family story I'd like to share with you.

The details are lost in the mists of time, so to speak--and I wasn't even born then--but here's how it goes. My mother one day attempted to make a casserole that involved beets. With results you might expect (bright pink-redness!) My brother took one look at what had been set on the table, and intoned that this was a "T.O.L. (tee-oh-el) dinner". When asked what he meant by T.O.L., he replied, "Test of Loyalty".

Ever since, when something suspect-looking appeared on the table, it was immediately dubbed a T.O.L.! Very Happy

---

On a completely different note, I'm seconding miinva's comment about the rutabagas. They are coated in wax if you get them at a regular store, and a little challenging to peel. PLEASE, for your own safety, chop the bottom (or top) clean off to make a stable, flat base to put against your cutting board. From there, you can peel the skin and the wax off in one go with a good sharp knife....or break it down into smaller pieces first if you feel more comfortable working with it that way. It takes a fair amount of force to get it going, so use a big, heavy blade, and for goodness' sake please watch your fingers.
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Post  middlemamma 1/8/2011, 3:51 pm

THANKS EVERYONE!!!

GREAT STORY MEGAN!
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Post  ander217 1/9/2011, 8:42 am

@middlemamma wrote:Yeah I was kinda wondering about their bad rep...I remember my mother (a Yankee) who retold a story often of how when she visited her mother in law (southern GA) she cooked a turnip and it stunk to high heaven. ??? I never have ate them exactly for this reason. Is that normal? Did she have the vegetable name wrong? Do they have a strong smell?

Love you Ander!

Jen

If you cook turnips too long they get "sulfurous" (stinky), just as any other brassica will. Usually, you should keep boiling to under four minutes to prevent the release of the sugars that cause the disagreeable odor. I never notice that problem when roasting them.

Love you too, Jen, even with your sheltered palate. Smile
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Post  erbarnett 1/9/2011, 9:18 am

I like to harvest the turnips when they are very young, when they are about an inch to two inches in diameter. My wife then bakes them in the oven with a little olive oil, citrus herb blend, and Mrs. Dash. They have a delicious, nutty taste and there is no foul smell to deal with.
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Post  walshevak 1/9/2011, 6:13 pm

I like to cube the turnip and cook with the green tops. A little country ham in the water is tasty.

Story on my mother. We moved to Kansas City, MO from NC where turnips and greens are favorite eating. My mom was in a grocery store and the produce man was taking a box of turnips that had the green tops still attached and whacking the tops off into an empty box. My mom asked him why and he told her it was garbage. Well, she asked if she could have the box of greens and he gave her the "trashy tops". She bought a small bundle of the roots and we ate for the next 2 weeks. She talked for years about the "free garbage".
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Post  Megan 1/9/2011, 7:38 pm

Hee. That is a great story, walshevak. This year was the first year I ever ate radish tops. I sauteed them along with the radish roots I grew, and they were fantastic. I'd often thought about trying them, but in the grocery store, they always seemed so ragged and sad (if they were, in fact, attached) that I'd never tried to clean them up before. Yay for growing your own!
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Post  quiltbea 1/9/2011, 10:56 pm

I never eat turnip but plan some for my garden this year so this info is very helpful.
Thank you everyone.
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Post  ander217 1/10/2011, 7:46 am

Don't forget there are many different turnip varieties out there to try. I had always eaten only purple-top turnips. Then I ventured into growing golden turnips, and last summer you may remember I inadvertently grew a large, long, French type which got mixed into rutabaga seed. It was delicious. As soon as I run out of purple-top seed I plan to buy some of it from Baker Creek.
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