July 29, 2008

white turnips

My parents have had a bumper crop of white turnips this year. I have been eating the greens since spring, helping to thin the bed, don't you know, and they were delicious -- at least up until the last batch, which were cut from the tops of lovely huge white & purple turnips. That last batch was quite bitter, so much so that I didn't enjoy them even when cooked up perfectly with diced bacon and onions. So note to self: turnip greens best when young.

But now I have lots of nice white turnips, which I have also been seeing in the farmers' markets around here. And though you can mash and cream them, winter style, that preparation doesn't have much appeal in weather like this. So what I have been doing is treating them just like daikon.

They're quite similar in flavor, a little milder and a bit harder in texture. They work very well sliced thin in simple pickles, either just salt and vinegar, or a mix of that with a bit of sugar. Occasionally I'll toss in a little hot pepper flake, but usually I like the clean crunchy quick pickle just plain. It's worked well alone, or mixed with carrot and/or cucumber.

I've eaten these pickles plain, or as a side to a japanese style meal. I've been mixing them into cold cooked somen noodles, along with scallions and some chopped tamagoyaki (which i did buy in a frozen block from the market -- it's OK, but a little sweet and spongy).

The other thing I've been doing is blanching them in cubes and throwing that into various chopped salad things, like the russian pickle mix and shrimp salad from an earlier post. They're a bit bland once blanched, so they work as a neutral filler and carrier for other flavors in the salad.

Posted by foodnerd at July 29, 2008 12:21 PM

Is it turnip pickle or radish pickle in falafel sandwiches? Those are some kinda yummy.

Posted by: Kate at August 2, 2008 09:34 AM

i am pretty sure those are turnip pickles, you're right. i've never tried making those... but i should, because the jarred pink ones I bought from the persian market in chicago were awful, while the ones you get in restaurants are delicious.

Posted by: foodnerd at August 6, 2008 09:12 PM
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