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.