Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Eating More Turnips

Part of eating locally is adapting to the foods that actually grow in your region. As Sharon says, "Grow what you eat and eat what you grow."
Root crops were not a huge thing in my family growing up. We lived in Oklahoma, it's so hot and dry there, I don't even know if you can grow a decent beet or turnip in that state. It was much easier to live off the okra, tomatoes and beans that thrived. So, now I'm living in zone 4 Iowa and okra is kind of a gamble most years. I keep getting bumper crops of root veggies that I don't have any familiar recipes for. These crops will grow even in late fall/early winter up here, so they're a great way to extend my garden harvests, but I have been scrambling to find ways to eat them.

Then today I was thinking to myself, "Self, there may be others out there who need root veggie recipes." So, here are some of the ways I'm eating root veggies right now.

Turnips can be snuck into soups. I'll be honest, I don't care for the taste of turnips, so I just hide them in things. Last night I snuck one turnip into my Garlic Scape and Potato soup. Turned out delicious and as required, I couldn't taste the turnip. :-D

Carrots I've been putting in everything. Soups and salads are pretty obvious. But a couple weeks ago I had some leftover grilled squash and carrots from a grillout. I made up a tomato sauce and tossed the squash and carrots into it. On some tasty whole wheat pasta, the carrots fit right in.

With beets I like a nice borscht. If you've never had fresh borscht on a cool fall day, you're missing out. It's a Ukrainian soup made primarily of beets. Sooo good.

Don't forget, beets and radishes and kohlrabi and turnips all have edible greens. If you're a seed saver and you find yourself with an overabundance of these, try sprouting some on a windowsill as a nice fresh green in winter.

If you're up in my neck of the woods, try a nice fall crop of root veggies this year. Plant the seeds in a few weeks, end of July-ish. They'll actually taste better after the first frost.


Donna said...

Thanks! Good ideas! I have no idea what to do with Beets, Turnips, Parsnips, Rutabagas etc. Cowpeas and Lima Beans, yes.

I am so excited to try and grow Turnips this year! Mainly for the Greens though. Not sure how they will do here. Southerns love them some Turnip Greens. Which leads me to believe Turnips grow well in the South and they might not do as well here?

Jennie said...

Oh no, turnips do great here! My neighbor at the Franklin gardens grew a bumper crop last season.

Parsnips are really tasty roasted with potatoes/onions/carrots/garlic. 450 for 30-45 minutes. Drizzled with olive oil and herbs.