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Exploring Food: Turnips

Margaret Sheets

For most of my life whenever I heard the word “turnip” I wrinkled my nose. Most of what I’d heard about the vegetable was not positive and I’d never actually eaten one before So, when I picked up my fifth CSA share and spotted turnips, I knew what I had to do for the week.

But I wanted to make something a little less basic than just putting turnips in a salad. While looking for fun ways to work with turnips I came across turnip fries. I thought this would be a perfect thing to experiment with.

I started by cutting the turnips into little French fry-like slices. Then I covered a cookie sheet in aluminum foil and laid out the slices on it. I do not have a lot of seasonings in my kitchen; if I had more of a variety I would have been able to really spruce up the flavor. All I had was garlic salt and sea salt, so I sprinkled both on the turnips.

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When all was ready to go I stuck the fries in a pre-heated, 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes. When they didn’t quite look as golden brown as I wanted, I left them in longer and watched them closely until they looked finished.

When they were as golden burnt as I wanted them to be I transferred them from the oven onto a plate.

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I took the first bite and was almost overwhelmed by the flavor. They in no way tasted like the greasy, salty fries McDonald’s makes, so don’t expect that kind of flavor. The turnip fries are definitely a healthier alternative, and their flavor strikes me as slightly bitter, but in an OK way.

This blog series is about trying new things and being honest about how I like what I prepare. So, I may not like every single vegetable I try. I have been very lucky up until this point: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every thing I’ve tired.

However, I have not jumped on the turnip bandwagon. But preparing them as fries definitely did spice them up, giving me the freedom to salt or season them however I want to get flavor I enjoy!

Don’t get me wrong: I didn’t dislike the turnip fries, but I don’t see turnips being my “go to” veggie. And I’m open to cooking turnips in some other ways to keep expanding my cooking abilities.

This week was one of my favorites because I tried something I had never eaten before and fixed it in a sort of “out of the box” way. That was fun and exciting, and now I can officially say I have eaten turnips!

 

Margaret Sheets is the 2016 events intern at Taste the Local Difference® and she is a senior at Albion College. You can contact her at events@localdifference.org

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