Using Winter Root Vegetables in Pressure Cooking

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What's on This Page?

Turnips

Parsnips

Rutabagas

How To Prepare

Tame the Taste

 

How to Prepare Winter Root Vegetables
First, use a vegetable peeler to peel the roots. and then cut into cubes of about 1 inch. Winter roots are often dense and very firm so be sure to use a heavy, sharp knife.  lace firm root rutabagas on top of a folded kitchen towel on a cutting board. The towel will keep the rutabaga from slipping or sliding on the cutting board. The simplest way to serve these vegetables is to cook and then mash with a little butter, and salt and pepper to taste, just like mashed potatoes. Toddlers and children will especially like parsnips because they are slightly sweet in taste. In addition to using as a side dish, add one of more of these vegetables to soups and stews. They can also be mixed together or with potatoes and mashed.

Turnips

The white-fleshed turnip has a white skin with a purple-tinged top. The so-called yellow turnip is actually a turnip relative, the RUTABAGA. Small, young turnips have a delicate, slightly sweet taste. As they age, however, their taste becomes stronger and their texture coarser, sometimes almost woody. Fresh turnips are available year-round, with the peak season from October through February. Choose heavy-for-their-size small turnips, as they are the youngsters and will be more delicately flavored and textured. The roots should be firm and the greens (if attached) bright-colored and fresh-looking. Though turnips can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for 2 weeks, they do best in a cool (55F), well-ventilated area such as a root cellar. Before using, they should be washed, trimmed and peeled. Turnips may be boiled or steamed, then mashed or pureed. They can also be stir-fried, cubed and tossed with butter, or used raw in salads. Turnips, a CRUCIFEROUS vegetable, are a fair source of vitamin C

Turnips, small, quartered

3 minutes at 15psi

1/2 cup cooking liquid

Turnips, large (older) 1 -inch chunks

5 minutes at 15psi

1/2 cup cooking liquid

Parsnips

The parsnip t has endured for centuries, and the variety we are familiar with today was developed in the Middle Ages where mothers used parsnips for weaning babies. Europeans brought the parsnip to the United States in the early 1600s, but this creamy-white root has never become an American favorite. Now these old-fashioned vegetables have gained renewed favor because they're a good source of complex carbohydrates and contain little fat and no cholesterol. Parsnips can be described as off-white carrot look-alikes. Before the introduction of the potato, parsnips, like turnips, were an important staple food. and until the potato made its debut on tables across Europe, parsnips were the accompaniment of choice for roasted meats, writes Bert Greene in "Greene on Greens.: Fresh parsnips are available year-round with the peak times being fall and winter. Selection and storage: Look for small to medium, well-shaped parsnips; larger ones can be woody inside. Avoid limp or shriveled parsnips and ones with bruises or cuts. Parsnips can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to two weeks. But don't store them near apples, pears and other fruits because the ethylene gas produced from these fruits can make parsnips bitter. Parsnips have a sweet flavor and, because they are root vegetables, an earthy character. They can be used just as you would use carrots and are suitable for almost any method of cooking, including baking, boiling and steaming. The traditional preparation is to boil, butter and mash them.

Parsnips, 1-inch chunks

3 minutes at 15psi

1/2 cup cooking liquid

Rutabagas

Rutabagas are often thought of as yellow turnips, but they are a relatively newcomer in the world of vegetables. rutabagas are thought to have evolved from a cross between a wild cabbage and a turnip. The earliest records of rutabaga's existence are from the seventeenth century in Southern Europe where they were eaten by humans as well as used for animal fodder. Because rutabagas thrive best in colder climates, they became popular in Scandinavia, but especially in Sweden. In Europe, rutabagas are called swedes. In America, rutabagas were first cultivated in the northern parts of the country in the early 1800s. The rutabaga is a root vegetable that looks very much like a turnip with yellow-orange flesh. It's actually a great tasting vegetable with a delicate sweetness and flavor that hints of the light freshness of cabbage and turnip. With its easy preparation and versatility, great nutrition, and excellent flavor, the rutabaga can easily become a family favorite. Because rutabagas store so well, up to one month in the refrigerator and up to four months in commercial storage at 32 degrees.

Rutabaga, 1-inch chunks

4 minutes at 15psi

3/4 cup cooking liquid

 

How to Tame the Taste
Choose small, heavyweight turnips and rutabagas to avoid the bitter aftertaste that is sometimes found in the larger ones. You can counter the bitterness sometimes found in these vegetables by adding carrots , apples, or cook in a flavored liquid such as apple juice or stock.

 

 

 

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