Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Bitter, bitter turnips

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07-07-2009, 08:41 PM
I have all of these turnips from my CSA and I tried to mash some like potatoes tonight loosely using a recipe online. But they're still so bitter.

Anyone have any tricks for dealing with the bitterness in turnips? I'm willing to try and prepare them many ways, so long as I can get them to taste a little less nippy.

Thighs Be Gone
07-07-2009, 08:44 PM
I would PM Kaplods. She will know.

07-07-2009, 09:25 PM
I had a friend who threw a bunch of veggies in chicken broth to make soup. I can't remember the other veggies but I do remember the turnips, and they were pretty darn good in that soup... it must be the chicken broth...

07-07-2009, 10:59 PM
I would PM Kaplods. She will know.

Unfortunately, I may not be much help. I love turnips, and find them sweet and a bit peppery, but not bitter. I even like them raw. Maybe you got some not-so-great turnips, or you may be more sensitive to bitter flavors (there've been studies that have shown that people are able to detect bitterness to differening degrees, "super-tasters," are much more bitter-sensitive).

I do find turnip greens bitter, but my remedy isn't very diet-friendly unless you're on Atkins or another low carb plan (bacon and onion).

A smidgen of fat and or sweetness, or a combination of both is my generic remedy for bitterness.

I've found that turnips do sweeten the longer they cook. So a low simmer in chicken broth may help (obviously this doesn't really help you if they're already mashed). Reheating may actually help some.

07-08-2009, 05:30 AM
Did you peel the turnips? I find the most of the bitterness is in the peel or near it. If you didn't peel them, try doing that. If you did peel them, try taking off another layer or two. If the turnips are particuarly large, the peel can be thick and you won't get it all with just go round with a vegetable peeler.

You could also try glazing them in red wine vinegar--I know it seems counter-intuitive, but the vinegar can help eliminate the bitterness. Peel and slice the turnips (in half if they are small, into wedges if they are large). Put them in a skillet with a little bit water, say 1/4 cup, a little light butter (1/2 tbsp), and some diced shallots or red onion. Cover and cook over medium until the turnips are just tender. Remove the cover, then add some salt and pepper to taste and one to two tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the turnips are starting to stick to the bottom of the skillet.

07-08-2009, 11:01 AM
Thanks everyone. I have two more batches to experiment with. Fingers crossed all goes well.

07-09-2009, 12:45 PM
I'm not a turnip fan as for me it is too sweet but I tried a different approach it was definitely better. I made Turnip Fries. They're not as crisp as potato fries but definitely low cal and good in taste.

Here's what I did - I used the same spices used here for the Yam Fries ( I peeled and cut the turnips as close to the shape of fries. Then mixed all the spices with the EVOO. I also added few extra spices - 1/4 tsp of kosher salt, cayenne and garlic powder. Roasted at 400 deg for about 20 minutes. Turnips were Yum!

11-25-2011, 05:14 PM
When peeling the turnip, make sure you get all the white off the vedgie that is close to the skin.... that is where the bitterness comes from. I cube mine and put it in a steemer and sprinkle a tbsp of sugar over the cubes before cooking. When tender, add some butter, salt and pepper and enjoy! Havent had a bitter turnip in years!