The Turnip Problem: Using Up the Last Winter Vegetables

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Do you have a CSA? Do you run into the “turnip problem” in late winter and early spring? Early spring is especially maddening, when green things are coming up all around, but there are still a few weeks left until real spring food sprouts. Slate columnist Catherine Price has this problem, and she turned to Mark Bittman to help her love her last winter vegetables.

Price had three vegetables in particular that bothered her. Kale, parsley, and turnips. So she calls up Mark Bittman to help her think up new ideas for using these veggies, and a few more. Here’s a snippet:

Bittman, who used to belong to a CSA in New Haven, Conn., pointed out that complaining about a surplus of vegetables in the dead of winter made me sound like a spoiled Californian. Feeling defensive—sure, he was right, but he hadn’t answered the question of what he would do with winter produce if he were lucky enough to have it—I challenged him to a game of vegetable free association. I would throw out a problematic vegetable; he would tell me the first preparation that came to mind.

“I love that,” he said. “Go.”

“Daikon radish,” I began, skipping any pretense at a warm-up.

He didn’t miss a beat. “Raw, grated, with soy sauce and sesame oil.”

Yum! She goes on to get a few great ideas for winter vegetables, including turnips, and she also finds out what fruit Mark Bittman doesn’t like.

(Image: Slate)