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Old 01-15-2010, 12:34 PM   #1
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any tips for making turnips less bitter?

I keep trying to make turnips in different ways in place of potatoes, and they are always very bitter. I know freshness is a factor, but I have no control over that as I don't live in a place with farmer's markets year round, so I have to rely on the ones in the supermarket. Anyone have any tips for making them less bitter? I've discovered cooked radishes (thanks to this board!!) and prefer them, but still have a big 'ol turnip sitting in my fridge.
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by straightscoop View Post
I keep trying to make turnips in different ways in place of potatoes, and they are always very bitter. I know freshness is a factor, but I have no control over that as I don't live in a place with farmer's markets year round, so I have to rely on the ones in the supermarket. Anyone have any tips for making them less bitter? I've discovered cooked radishes (thanks to this board!!) and prefer them, but still have a big 'ol turnip sitting in my fridge.
I don't know about making them less bitter when cooking, but I think turnips taste great raw with some salt sprinkled on them. To me they don't taste very bitter that way, but my taste buds might be different than yours.
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
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i wanna say i remember someone (maybe Charski) saying they soak em in cream before they cook em...never tried em.
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:11 PM   #4
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Turnips are a bit bitter naturally. When I boil them I add some cream to the water and it seems to absorb some of the bitterness.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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Cutting something in reasonably small pieces and boiling it in a goodly amount of water, which you then THROW OUT, usually helps. But the turnips will end up soggy. You could undercook them and then dry them out on a baking sheet in the oven, I suppose.
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Old 01-15-2010, 08:24 PM   #6
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I have been around turnips all my life. Never liked them!!!! No matter how they were cooked. I know NOTHING that will make cooked turnips not be bitter. My Dad loved them. I never could see how anyone could like them. We all have different tastes. If they taste bitter to you, like they do to me, I doubt you will find anything to make them not be bitter. Not saying you won't, but probably not.
I like raw turnips if they are young and not too strong. And I have eaten some oven fried turnips (again they weren't too strong to begin with) that weren't too bad.
JUST MY OPINION on turnips.
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:38 AM   #7
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LOL, Crazy..They are kind of like parsnips or rutabagas..etc..It is all personal taste..I love them, but dh doesn't, except for that wonderful Dottie recipe with Swiss Cheese and Carmelized Onions..nommie..
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:41 AM   #8
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I think Prince Edward Island Turnips have a nice flavor..I found this recipe which sounds very nommie.

Of course, we would have to make our own cream sauce..

Tasty Turnip Casserole

Cook turnip and mash
Put into casserole dish
Make white sauce and pour on top of mashed turnip.
White sauce includes: 1/4 cup margarine, 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup milk.
Poke holes down through turnip to allow white sauce to go through. Sprinkle generously with grated mozzarella cheese on top of white sauce.
Bake 325 F for 30 minutes.
Submitted by: Marlene Bryanton
Charlottetown, PEI
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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I love bitter turnips! Mmmm...with butter and pepper!

If you mix in butternut squash with turnips it gives it a less bitter taste without cream (if one cannot eat dairy.)
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Old 01-16-2010, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynF View Post
I think Prince Edward Island Turnips have a nice flavor..I found this recipe which sounds very nommie.

Of course, we would have to make our own cream sauce..

Tasty Turnip Casserole

Cook turnip and mash
Put into casserole dish
Make white sauce and pour on top of mashed turnip.
White sauce includes: 1/4 cup margarine, 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup milk.
Poke holes down through turnip to allow white sauce to go through. Sprinkle generously with grated mozzarella cheese on top of white sauce.
Bake 325 F for 30 minutes.
Submitted by: Marlene Bryanton
Charlottetown, PEI
Carolyn try this one
1 turnip, peeled, diced and boiled
1 cup cooked greens (turnip, mustard, beet, spinach, whatever on hand)
3 wedges laughing cow cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream or 1/2&1/2
punch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3T grated parmesan cheese

make sure turnips and greens are drained well.
Spray an 8" casserole with cooking spray and place the turnips and greens in the bottom.
Microwave the laughing cow and cream until melted. Stir in the nutmeg then mix with the turnips and greens, salt and pepper and taste.
Pat down and top with the shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and bake at 350 for 15 minutes until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Makes 2-3 servings (or 1 if you really like it lol)
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:28 PM   #11
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Don't like Swiss Cheese either! But I love caramelized onions! Sorry I'm quite sure I wouldn't like that either, even with a cheese I liked. Just can't go turninps.

Yes, everyone has different tastes. I read so many people saying, if "so & so person" says it's good, then I trust it. But I don't trust it just because certain people say its good, Sometimes we like the same things, sometimes we don't. Some things my sister, or my DH, or others & I both LOVE, but somethings they like I can't stand, and vise versa. It's kinnda funny how we all taste things so differently. And I know I do have strange tastebuds.
There are a lot of things I don't particularly care for, but I can eat. Some I just can't (well if I absolutely had to). Turnips generally is one of those.

To each his/her own. Makes the world go round.
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Old 01-16-2010, 10:29 PM   #12
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Begin by buying turnips that are small for their weight. Then, boil them for about 5 minutes. Immediately plunge them into the coldest water you have ... ice water is good ... to stop the cooking process. Otherwise, they'll get mushy.

At that point, you can cook them any way you like, but since they are already partially cooked, it's best to add them toward the end of the cooking time for soups and stews.

Works for me!
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:41 AM   #13
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We cook in cream and it helps, like PPs said. We also find it helpful to peel a little more deeply when dealing with the bigger sized (and more bitter) ones.
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Old 01-17-2010, 07:57 AM   #14
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Dottie: Thanks..I'm thinking maybe a stronger green other than spinach would work best..
Like kale??
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:34 AM   #15
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I used mustard greens because they have their own bit of spiciness
But I've used beet greens and they're wonderful
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:47 AM   #16
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I grow my own turnip's.When their older they get bitter.I pick wash and chop them .Put in pot boil then drain off bitter water then add fresh water boil a few more minute's add salt and a pinch of sweetner.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:11 AM   #17
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Are they hard to grow?
A lot of times in the stores here they're either the size of golf balls or footballs lol -no really good "tennis ball" sized ones.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:56 AM   #18
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Use rutabagas instead! (I know that won't help with the one in the fridge. Sorry.)

Unless then are very young and fresh, turnips naturally have a bitter taste when cooked. I've never really liked them. That's why I was so surprised recently when I tried rutabagas. They aren't bitter at all -- slightly sweet when cooked, in fact.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:58 AM   #19
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Are they hard to grow?
A lot of times in the stores here they're either the size of golf balls or footballs lol -no really good "tennis ball" sized ones.
No their very easy to grow.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:50 PM   #20
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Tried turnips this afternoon. A brand new one from the garden and it was small. I boiled the slices in water and cream then pan fried them to make hash browns.

It still had a bitter taste. I was sad
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:54 PM   #21
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I have heard of 3 different ways to get rid of the bitterness

1) slice and salt them and let them rest-then blot the liquid off-same process for eggplant

2) Soak them in milk or cream

3)If you are boiling them place a whole peeled tater in with them.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:15 PM   #22
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I've done it this way forever. Boil 1/4 c. of cream and water for 3 minutes then prepare the way you want. Buy the smallest you can. I grow my own. But I've bought them too. It works for me every time.
Good luck.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:17 PM   #23
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I've done it this way forever. Boil 1/4 c. of cream and water for 3 minutes then prepare the way you want. Buy the smallest you can. I grow my own. But I've bought them too. It works for me every time.
Good luck.
That is exactly what I did. I boiled them in the cream till they were almost soft then fried them. Still bitter. It was a small new turnip just picked. No bigger than a tangerine
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:33 PM   #24
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I totally agree about different tastes for the same food! I'm thankful for those who don't like turnips -- more for me! If we were neighbors, I'd gladly exchange some of that slick nasty flax meal for your turnip!! As for your dilemma....I usually throw out about 1/3 of my turnip. I cut a thick slab from the top and bottom, peel, dice, boil til done. If the turnip isn't nice and crispy, I toss it. It very well could be you just don't like turnips. There isn't any amount of money in the world to get me to eat a piece of any kind of melon ! Good luck! dianne
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:20 PM   #25
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Wow skeeter. Sorry sweetie. Mine are always sweet. Now watch I'll get some bitter ones.
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:22 PM   #26
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Wow skeeter. Sorry sweetie. Mine are always sweet. Now watch I'll get some bitter ones.
Its ok. I was just so excited about this. It was edible but not great. couldn't get past the bitter bite
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Old 07-24-2011, 07:34 PM   #27
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I've had luck recently in deep frying them. I peeled them and sliced them like french fries and fried in oil for 10 full minutes. There was a small turnip flavor, but my husband could barely tell.

I also make a turnip gratin. Slice them as thin as possible and nuke them in about a tbsp of water for about 3 minutes to soften them. I think make a sauce and layer it in a pan. Again, not much turnip flavor!
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Old 07-24-2011, 09:26 PM   #28
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I find them less bitter by microwaving them the same way you nuke a baked potato and then peel them and eat them with butter, salt, and pepper just like a baked potato.
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:53 AM   #29
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I've found that cooking turnips in a pressure cooker reduces bitterness. I can always tell when my MIL tries to boil them for the holidays instead, because they're much more pungent. I'm a turnip fan though, so YMMV.

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Old 03-08-2012, 09:07 AM   #30
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Hey this thread is #2 in google when you search for 'turnip bitter'!

Anyway, I subscribe to the idea that you can minimize the bitterness by cooking them slowly in something acidic. My favorite way is to use them in a braised veal stew using a red wine reduction and beef stock. The bitterness is reduced and the sauce is so rich that it covers up what's left.

Brown meats, sautee onion and garlic etc, deglaze with wine, reduce to 1/2, add equal part beef stock, seasoning and turnips and simmer for a couple hours. Throw in some fresh green beans or whatever at the end. I have no idea if it's low carb but there are a million variations out there.
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