Rutabagas and their friends

Rutabaga fries

A long time ago (around Week 14, I believe) some rutabagas appeared at my home. I didn’t really know what to do with them, so I turned to that great vegetable bible, Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Debbie had a recipe in the rutabaga section for rutabaga fries. I like snacks, more than the other wholesome sounding things on offer in rutabaga futures, so I made the fries. It involved cutting them up and baking them on a cookie sheet with olive oil, and then tossing them with with salt and pepper and minced fresh rosemary. Much like sweet potato fries, they didn’t get crispy or anything, but they are interesting. Weirdly, they kind of remind me of roasted garlic, in color and texture and even flavor. Odd. But nice.

In other news, I think I hate turnips. I’ve had many, many bunches now from my box. I’ve tried them in a souffle. I’ve tried them roasted. I’ve tried them raw. I made an Indian curry with a recipe from the Eatwell newsletter. And finally I made them into a turnip-sweet potato bisque everyone in my Eatwell Yahoo group has been raving about. (Yes, my CSA box has its own Yahoo group – isn’t that the greatest?)

Now I have never met a vegetable I didn’t like (with the sole exception of cooked bell peppers – blech), and I am especially a great friend and lover to all root vegetables. So I kept doggedly plugging along with the turnips, trying recipe after recipe, figuring I must not have found the right showcase for these lovely white roots. And while the turnip souffle was lovely, tinged with pink, and the curry was gorgeous, the fiery colors of a sunset, and the bisque was universally liked by my dinner guests, each dish has ended up tasting somewhat… wrong.

I am the type of person who scoffs at people who don’t like a certain vegetable. Hate brussel sprouts? I am convinced you’ve always had them either over- or undercooked. Refuse to eat beets? Perhaps if you tried them not from a can… So I know, intellectually, that turnips are one of those frequently reviled foods, foods that people complain about having been forced to eat as a child. But I always considered myself to be immune, above that, even. But I think that now, after many weeks, I must at last concede. The turnip, and possibly even its friend and companion the rutabaga, is just not for me.

9 comments on “Rutabagas and their friends

  1. Diane says:

    I am like this about brussel sprouts. I love all vegetables rather madly. Even wierdo ones like bitter melon. And prepared properly, I can stand brussel sprouts. They are fine – IF carefully prepared, not overcooked, and in limited quantities. But I have decided that I really just don’t like them much, and see no point in continuing to try again, and again to make myself like them. I just don’t.

  2. scrumptious says:

    Diane – How funny! My beliefs are apparently so ingrained that even reading your comment my first thought was, “I’m sure I could prepare brussels sprouts she would love!” But of course this is the point exactly – it may have taken me this long to find the kryptonite to my vegetable-lovin’ superpowers, but now I have to work on accepting it, put any future turnips up for grabs on Freecycle, and devote my love and care to all those vegetables that do ignite my passion.

  3. Lauren says:

    When I was complaining to my uncle about getting yet more turnips in my box, he told me that my grandmother used to say that “turnips are for the goats.” This always makes me smile.

    I haven’t found an acceptable dish for turnips either.

    -Lauren (fellow eatwell’er)

  4. scrumptious says:

    Ah, yes, Lauren, the goats. If I had goats it would be so lovely – I could turn my turnips into chevre!

    There must be turnip lovers out there – our Eatwell is too savvy to grow a vegetable no one enjoys. I’m just sorry the turnip gene was clearly not part of our family inheritance!

    I’ve switched pick-up locations since I started getting the box. At my first locale, there was a “leave-one, take-one” box for trading in unwanted veggies. If we had one at my current location I would certainly trade in my turnips, even for more of the dreaded lettuce. I’ve thought about just starting one, but I realize that the first person would have to just leave, and not take, because there would be no one to trade with them. I need to think it through a bit further, clearly.

  5. Lauren says:

    Have you asked Molly about setting up a box at your new location too? We have one at ours and it’s worked well.

  6. scrumptious says:

    Lauren – It never occurred to me. Somehow I’m under the impression that the trade-in box is a customer-initiated activity, but I’m not sure why I think this. I will write to Molly! Thanks!

  7. […] didn’t taste bad, but they didn’t taste good, either, to me), even if I’ve found yet another vegetable that, against all sense of myself, it turns out I don’t like, on looking back I think I can […]

  8. […] Surprisingly Spring/Summer Sweet Potato and Kale Soup This recipe was created by an Eatwell CSA subscriber. You can use the carrot/radish elements interchangeably, or use turnips instead or in addition, if you don’t think they are kind of gross. […]

  9. […] I have never been so happy to see a bunch of turnips in my life! Longtime readers may remember my early struggles with turnips, which came with alarming regularity in my Eatwell CSA box. I tried them every which way until I […]

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