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how do you make turnips?

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lauren Jan 31, 2004 10:15 PM

ive never jad a turnip before in my life, and id like to try them. i read somewhere that they are a good low carb substitute for potatos. anybody have good ways of preparing them? how are they traditionally prepared? thanks!!!

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  1. c
    Colleen RE: lauren Jan 31, 2004 11:06 PM

    Traditionally, they are peeled, cut up, and boiled in water with a little salt. When soft, they're drained and mashed with a little butter.

    They're good on their own or mashed with carrots. Thye're often used in stews.

    I don't prepare turnips that often, so I don't really know of other ways to serve them.

    1. h
      heidipie RE: lauren Feb 1, 2004 12:13 AM

      They're wonderful roasted, especially in the bottom of your roasting pan soaking up the juices from a roasting chicken.

      4 Replies
      1. re: heidipie
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        lauren RE: heidipie Feb 1, 2004 11:27 AM

        should the turnips always be peeled? (is the skin edible?)

        1. re: lauren
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          EMDB RE: lauren Feb 1, 2004 01:39 PM

          I've always peeled mine-- I find the skins to be bitter.

          Rutabagas are also interchangeable in most turnip recipes, though I like the flavor of the white and purple topped turnips better.

          1. re: EMDB
            melpy RE: EMDB Nov 4, 2010 08:48 AM

            What is the difference in flavor, I've only ever had rutabaga?

            1. re: melpy
              bushwickgirl RE: melpy Nov 4, 2010 02:23 PM

              Rutabaga is a bit sweet, but has a slight bitter peppery tang, looks like sweet potatoes when mashed, but a little lighter in color and texture, good mashed on it's own with butter, salt and lots of black pepper, or mashed with potatoes. I guess you know this, since you've had rutabaga.

              Turnips are smaller, white with a purple top, and I had a friend who described them as somewhere between an potato and a carrot, but I think of them similar to beets or parsnips, with an earthy peppery flavor like a radish. You can get baby turnips in the spring as well; they're the best. The older the turnip, the stronger the flavor; they become more peppery, bitter and aren't so great, so skip them and buy smaller and fresh, from a farm stand or market. I like them in beef or lamb stews and simply seasoned and roasted. I like turnips just fine, but I love parsnips.

              Turnips greens are delicious, especially when the baby turnips are attached and cooked with them.

      2. r
        RWCFoodie (Karen) RE: lauren Feb 1, 2004 08:42 AM

        If I'm lucky enough to find small young turnips, about the size of a golf ball, at my local Farmers Market, I like to just wash, peel and quarter or halve them and saute in a small amount of butter or olive oil with a bit of garlic, salt, tiny pinch of sugar and fresh ground black pepper. Might add a Tbs or 2 of chicken broth and just cook until tender. If the greens are in good shape, sometimes I'll chop them and add them to the pan too. Yum!

        1 Reply
        1. re: RWCFoodie (Karen)
          monavano RE: RWCFoodie (Karen) Nov 4, 2010 01:50 PM

          Turnip greens are among the tastiest greens out there! Make them sooner rather than later, as the actual turnip will keep a lot longer.

        2. h
          Heidi Claire RE: lauren Feb 1, 2004 08:54 AM

          In stews I use them in lieu of potatoes.

          1. e
            EMDB RE: lauren Feb 1, 2004 10:23 AM

            They can be used in virtually any potato recipe. Gratineed turnips are good, roasted turnips with evoo, lemon juice and thyme are great, pureed turnips w butter cream salt and pepper are good, and over roasted turnip fries are also tasty. You won't get the same texture as a potato, but they're good in their own right.

            If you're looking to sub for mashed potatoes, imho, steamed, then pureed cauliflower with cream butter s & p is a better choice than mashed turnip.

            1. b
              Big Momma RE: lauren Feb 1, 2004 01:56 PM

              I like turnip made similar to mashed potatoes. They do take longer to cook than potatoes and you want them to be very tender before ricing or mashing. My grandmother taught me to add bacon fat to them, along with the butter, salt and pepper. I don't use milk. Delicious!

              I always peel them. A great tip is to put the whole turnip in the microwave for a minute or two. It makes peeling much easier.

              1. c
                Celecanto RE: lauren Feb 1, 2004 05:23 PM

                My wife likes them raw in the salad or eaten like an apple.

                PS Don't forget to peel them.

                1. s
                  Sandy RE: lauren Feb 2, 2004 05:46 AM

                  I use them in beef stew in addition to potatoes. They are also excellent with pot roast. Also cooked with a little salt pork and mashed like potatoes. Sometimes, late in the season, they require a little sugar.

                  1. c
                    cap RE: lauren Feb 2, 2004 07:06 AM

                    Cut them into pieces, turn them if you like, then cook in water until almost done. Drain and finsh cooking in a little butter, beef (or chicken)stock and port. Season with salt and pepper.

                    1. m
                      Maesie RE: lauren Feb 2, 2004 11:21 AM

                      This may not be for everyone, but I like to cube them and cook them with olive oil and anchovies. I think this is a traditional Italian preparation and usually involves pork, but since I'm a vegetarian I substitute baked, seasoned tofu. It's a great winter dish - hearty and full of flavor.

                      1. h
                        hildegard RE: lauren Feb 2, 2004 11:45 AM

                        rutabaga-large turnip with waxed outside-
                        peel-cut into pieces cook in water until soft-add butter, salt and pepper-

                        white turnip-small with purplish coloring-
                        wash, peel and then grate on box grater(second largest side)-2-3 turnips
                        add salt, pepper, juice of one lemon and drizzle some olive oil on top-

                        1. e
                          EHB RE: lauren Feb 2, 2004 03:44 PM

                          Standard turnips, the white ones, are classic with roast duck. They have a slightly bitter taste that goes well with sweeter meets. I had some baby turnips for lunch, roasted, next to a stuffed squid in roasted red pepper sauce. Nice balance.
                          As mentioned earlier, cut up and boiled, they go great in mashed potatoes.
                          To roast larger turnips, cut the turnips into four pieces, douse with extra virgin olive oil, salt liberally and roast on a baking sheet at 350 degrees until easily pierced with a fork. Even better, find the little ones with the greens still attached. Roast them whole in the above fashion. They'll get some nice charring on them and turn sweet.

                          1. m
                            missmasala RE: lauren Feb 2, 2004 04:38 PM

                            if you like indian food, look up turnips on the saveur magazine website. There should be a great madhur jaffrey recipe for turnips that are soaked in yogurt and then cooked. i make it a lot and it's delicious. unfortunately, i can't find that issue of saveur at the moment and i haven't made it enough to know it by heart.

                            1. k
                              kc girl RE: lauren Feb 3, 2004 10:50 PM

                              Most of the suggestions here are good. I especially remember my grandmother putting them in the beef stew as mentioned.

                              But, I would like to say that a turnip does not taste like a potato, so don't fool yourself. They are a good dish, but not anything like the flavor of a potato.

                              If you've already bought them and don't like them, get a mandoline, slice them very thin, and make a vegetable flower (mum or lily) out of them. Kale makes a nice leaf.

                              But, you may love them.

                              1. r
                                radcen RE: lauren Oct 27, 2010 06:35 PM

                                I wasn't sure whether they needed to be peeled either, so I decided to experiment and added a few unpeeled baby turnips to a soup. Pork shoulder had already braised for two hours, aromatics were in... usually I'd add potatoes at this point, pull apart the pork, etc. Ugh. Now the whole thing tastes like turnip. My wonderful flavor is all gone and I think I'll save the braised meat and toss the rest. From now on, I'm peeling my turnips!

                                1. JayL RE: lauren Oct 27, 2010 08:19 PM

                                  Don't forget about the turnip salad (that's the green tops for those who don't know). Prepared just like collards or mustard...it's the best part of the entire turnip.

                                  1. w
                                    weezycom RE: lauren Oct 28, 2010 04:11 AM

                                    I recently bought some Tokyo variety turnips at my farmer's market, an all-white smallish turnip (halfway between the size of a golf ball and a baseball). It's a very mild, sweet turnip. So far I've just peeled and eaten raw, but I plan to make some refrigerator pickles with the rest of the batch.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: weezycom
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                                      soupkitten RE: weezycom Oct 28, 2010 08:37 AM

                                      tokyo? i've always just heard of them referred to as "salad turnips"-- i eat them raw too, and use in salads, exactly as raw radishes are used. really like them.

                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                        Tripeler RE: soupkitten Oct 28, 2010 08:27 PM

                                        This turnip sounds like the ones we have in, um, Tokyo!. They are lovely boiled lightly with a little bacon. My wife likes to make refrigerator pickles with them. They are certainly tender.

                                    2. coney with everything RE: lauren Oct 28, 2010 06:48 AM

                                      Peel, cut them up if they're big ones, toss in pan with olive oil, fresh rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper and whole garlic cloves.

                                      Roast at fairly high heat, stir often and watch that the garlic doesn't burn.

                                      You could throw in a few carrots and parsnips if you've got them.

                                      1. n
                                        nvcook RE: lauren Oct 28, 2010 12:46 PM

                                        I recently added 3 peeled and cubed ones to my potato leek and ham soup. I think they are sweeter than potatoes and love to mix them up with anything that calls for potatoes. Or peeled, cubed, boiled and mashed with butter, salt and pepper. My great grandmother served that as a side dish quite often.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: nvcook
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                                          ospreycove RE: nvcook Oct 28, 2010 12:50 PM

                                          Wow, a 2004 original posted thread. I guess the turnips have long been put in the compost heap.

                                          1. re: ospreycove
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                                            nvcook RE: ospreycove Oct 28, 2010 09:18 PM

                                            Hopefully the 2004 turnips have been put to rest...but still a relevant thread

                                        2. Wtg2Retire RE: lauren Nov 4, 2010 12:13 PM

                                          I come from a family who has always loved turnips. Here is a favorite recipe:

                                          HEAVENLY TURNIP CASSEROLE

                                          5 medium turnips, peeled and diced
                                          1/2 teaspoon soda
                                          1 teaspoon salt
                                          1/4 cup sugar
                                          1/4 cup flour
                                          Dash onion salt
                                          Dash celery salt
                                          1 cup Velveeta, cubed
                                          1/3 cup milk

                                          Put peeled and medium diced turnips in saucepan; cover with cold water and add soda. Bring to a boil, drain and rinse well. Cover with cold water again, add salt; cook until tender, then drain. Mix flour, sugar, celery and onion salts in a bowl; blend in milk with a whisk. Add cheese and flour-milk mixture to turnips and stir gently. Spray Pam liberally in a 9X13 casserole dish. Pour in turnips. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

                                          If your time is limited, you can prepare this over a period of time by preparing the turnips, draining, and refrigerating. Then when ready to cook, bring out of refrigerator and finish the process.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Wtg2Retire
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                                            pantani RE: Wtg2Retire Nov 4, 2010 08:15 PM

                                            Best turnips I have had were at an Indian restaurant. Turnip masala I think.

                                          2. Tom P RE: lauren Nov 5, 2010 03:10 AM

                                            I love to roast them with other vegetables. That said, this recipe is not only the best turnip recipe ever, it is one of my favorite things I have ever eaten! (At Union Square Cafe in NYC)

                                            http://www.cookstr.com/recipes/union-...

                                             
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