I just bought some vegetables. I have no idea what any of them are. I literally just Googled how do you know if you have a rutabaga or a turnip or a beet. The problem is that the things that are probably beets were labeled “fancy rutabagas,” which I don’t think is a thing, and the turnips (???) and celeriac (pretty sure about this one; when you Google “ugly knobbly vegetable” all the results are for celeriac) were in the same basket, and I don’t remember what they were labeled. So basically I am taste-testing unknown vegetables. This series may recur if I ever actually find a rutabaga.
The original plan for this post was to assemble one each of a variety of root/winter vegetables, including rutabaga, turnips (which I’ve never had but which make me think of Little House on the Prairie), beets, celeriac, kohlrabi (which I then researched and found out that it’s not a winter vegetable, particularly), and/or sunchokes. I considered adding black radishes because, bizarrely, my supermarket always stocks a million of them, but decided against it because I looked into it and it sounds like they probably taste bad. Then I wanted to kick beets off the list because I ate some and didn’t want to eat any more. But it looks like I have no choice.
The plan is to cut them up, roast them, and try them (and possibly also try them raw first), and then hopefully eat them for dinner, unless they are truly horrible.
Let us commence. Also, seriously, what the fuck are these vegetables I bought, and why can’t I have a fancy rutabaga.
I cut the top and bottom off the celeriac and then sliced off the tough skin uing a knife (the vegetable peeler wasn’t up to the task). It smells great—exactly like celery, but somehow better, perhaps because of the cognitive dissonance involved in looking at this giant, hard root-ish thing and smelling celery. (Advice: Use your largest, sharpest knife. If you are me, buy a larger knife before attempting.)
Potential turnips have now been peeled (with the vegetable peeler) and diced. They smell like cabbage, but worse. Also, they fell into the garbage can multiple times while I was peeling them. But that is not why they smell bad.
Definite beets have been peeled and diced. They got purple all over; it was exciting. I put the celeriac in a roasting pan and tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper; the beets and possible turnips shared a brownie pan, and were also tossed with oo, s&p. (I know the beets are going to dye the turnips and everything will be horrible. Whatever.)
Break while everything is roasting (400° for probably a very long time).
In the meantime I am going to eat my homemade part–whole wheat bread.
Oh my, something irritating has happened. (It is half an hour later now and the turnips and celeriac are done; they are sitting on a plate until I can get myself to try them.) So at my grocery store there’s this tiny aisle hidden in the back where they have a lot of vegetables I’ve never heard of. Today I wrote them all down so I could look them up: yellow yam, yautia lily, Korean batata, Dominic batata, white yautia, wax turnip. (Spelling mistakes are not mine.) (I love how this list sounds.) Anyway it turns out that wax turnips are rutabagas. Argh. I will have to go back and buy them sometime. And possibly some of those other things. Maybe.
OMGOMGOMG roasted turnips taste good. YAY!!! I thought they would be bad! I’m so excited! (I am also really excited to like a vegetable that my friend who loves every vegetable ever does not like.) (I think some people would consider turnips bitter? I don’t really like sweet vegetables, like red peppers … and beets … and parsnips!, and love things like arugula. So maybe I just have weird taste in vegetables.)
The celeriac is really weird and also really good! This is so weird and exciting. I’m really pleased. (If you like celery, you’ll like it. It’s just celery with a less stringy texture, basically. Yum.)
The beets are still not my favorite, but I like this rendition of them—they’re very crispy on the outside. (They cooked about twenty minutes longer than everything else.)
Hey. My entire dinner, except the cheese (fontina, inspired by this), was made by me, totally from ingredients.