Thursday, November 18, 2010

Trying Turnips

I'm not sure whether I actually like turnips, so when I decided to plant them, I put only a few seeds in the ground. In my childhood, Mom would occasionally sneak some turnip bits, chopped to the identical size of the potato bits, into a soup or stew. I always figured it out Right Away, and after supper, at the bottom of my bowl, there would be a little pile of turnip cubes.

This memory is why I planted only a few seeds. It would be more reasonable, I know, to just by-pass the whole turnip-growing adventure with a background like this, but I didn't used to like beets either, and now I do. Taste buds change. It was possible that I might like turnips now. Luckily, Joe likes turnip greens, so even if the turnips turned out to be awful, the crop wouldn't be a total loss.

The good news is that turnips seem to grow pretty well in this yard. I pulled one of my (three total) turnips last night to use in supper:



The root part went into the oven with some sweet potatoes, coated with olive oil, to roast. The greens got sauteed in olive oil with onion and garlic. There were a lot of greens. From just the one turnip came a heaping three cups of cooked greens. One third of the greens went into the ricotta cheese mixture for "stuffed shells" (pasta); the rest went into two pint-size freezer bags and into the freezer.

The turnip greens turned out to have a pretty strong "bite" (I don't know how else to describe it), so the ricotta cheese mixture also included some of the much milder Malabar spinach that we had prepared and frozen over the last few weeks.

The verdict? The greens-&-cheese stuffed shells were fine, even though I noticed the "bite" under all that tomato sauce and Italian seasoning, and the turnip root wasn't awful like I remembered turnip roots to be. Turnips aren't going to replace sweet potatoes in my affections anytime soon, but I will not have any trouble eating the remaining two turnips. Next year, I might plant five.

2 comments:

  1. My in-laws gave us some turnips and I try to like the taste but I really don't . I think it's an acquired taste.

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  2. meemsync, It may partly be an acquired taste, but it may also have to do with what your own tastebuds are sensitive to. My husband (Joe) didn't even realize that there were turnip greens in the stuffed shells, but my 19-year-old son REALLY noticed. Joe thought the greens were nice and mild, but I thought they had a pretty pronounced 'bite.'

    We have this same difference of opinion over collards, for which I taste a lot of bitterness, but he never does.

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