Monday, March 31, 2008

March Local Food of the Month: Turnips

I'm going to see if I can try one new food each month and blog about it here. It might be a food I've eaten before, but never cooked. Or it might be something I've cooked before, but never starting from that particular form, such as head-on shrimp or fish that I need to skin and fillet.

The food of the month for March is the Turnip!!

While I realize that it's likely that I've had turnips before, I've never knowingly had turnips and I've certainly never cooked with turnips.

I did, however, have several preconceived notions about turnips. I thought that they would be as hard to peel as a butternut squash, very starchy, and honestly not all that flavorful.

Oh man, was I wrong!! They peeled very easily, and under the skin was a slightly moist and crispy looking flesh that simply begged me to try it raw. Sweet! Crunchy!! Who knew!! Well, ok, probably millions of people knew, but I sure didn't. Another preconceived notion: I had them pegged as a strictly cooked veggie, not something to serve raw.

But this one I chopped to include with the roasted veggies that I served with the chicken I wrote about earlier. Oh man, it's just as tasty cooked as it was raw. Partner, who had claimed to hate turnips, ate them, then acted like I'd added poison to the chicken's spice rub when I mentioned the turnips, then tried them again (cautiously) and decided that maybe turnips were ok after all. MY turnips, anyway. You've just gotta love someone who declares that the only reason why a previously hated veggie is good is because you cooked it. That's love. Or rationalization. Or something.

I'd like to find out how well they keep once they're cut into. I'd love to be able to put some bits of turnip into the salads that we have several times a week (thanks to Farmer Tim's absolutely yummy salad mix), but I don't know if the remaining turnip will go all nasty on me like a browned apple. Then again, I put cut apples back in the fridge all the time then just cut the brown part off... And it's not like turnips are so expensive that I can't just experiment. Plus I can always Google it instead of just wondering.

So there we have it: My first time with a turnip, and it was a good one. I'll definitely have them again. In fact, Farmer Tim didn't offer them this past week so I picked some up from the Good4You market to have with Friday's roast chicken repeat, this time with guests.

Up for April: The baby bok choy that I got from Farmer Tim, which I plan to half and sear according to a recipe I found online.

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