Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My CSA experience: Turned off by turnips

As we reach fall, the weekly CSA bounty from our organic CSA has turned from herbs and lettuces and toward more root vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes and turnips.

I had admittedly never tried turnips before, so I had no idea where to start. I flipped through my cookbooks, including one on vegetarian grilling. Nothing. Finally, I turned to a 1950s Better Homes & Gardens cookbook from my mother-in-law. Buried in tiny type was "Boil" for x minutes. Hardly appetizing.

I looked online and found a recipe for roasted garlic, turnips and shallots. I love shallots and can't get enough of garlic. I figured it was a safe bet. Except I still can't get past the bitter taste of turnips.

My friend Kari, my resident expert foodie, wrote to me and said:

You don’t like turnips because the recipe you tried is for the diehard Southern
purist. You must mix turnips with something sweet to balance their bitter
acidity. Garlic and shallots are not sweet!

Peel, cube and roast your turnips with carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips(optional) on a cookie sheet. Then mash them all together with butter, pepper and just a touch of maple syrup or a sprinkle of brown sugar. It is called Root Mash, and it came out of a Southern Living magazine a long, long time ago.

Alternately, shredded turnip and apple “pancakes” mixed with sage, mace, thyme
and an egg and skillet fried to a crisp in butter or oil make a nice side dish
for bratwurst sausages.

It's worth a shot. I still have four more turnips staring me in the face that I feel guilty about letting go to waste. Cherry tomatoes and peppers never looked so good....

The name of this CSA, based outside of Indianapolis, was deleted from this post on January 28, 2009. I have been falsely accused of libel by this CSA and will no longer promote them by using the name of the organization. Please do all you can to preserve the freedoms promised to us by our Forefathers!


Cathy said...

I think the garlic/shallot recipe sounds great--but I kind of like the bitterness of turnips.

Farmer's Daughter said...

I make mashed turnips the same way as mashed potatoes and they're good! My dad hates turnips, though.