History Roots & Shoots Are Good For You!

Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Messages
5,524
Location
central NC
#1
turnips.jpg

Perhaps nowhere in the United States have greens been so beloved as in the South. I grew up watching my grandmother and mother cook greens—typically collards, turnip greens and some wild leaf greens, but now they’re showing up in “fancy” restaurants as a featured side item. Of course this got me thinking about the “good ole’ days.”

Greens came to the South from around the world. Collards are widely believed to have arrived from Africa via the slave route. Turnips made their way from Asia. Some greens, such as poke (properly pronounced 'po-kay') salad (my grandmother called it “poke - as in “I will poke you” - sallet,”) and dandelion greens grow wild. The leaves and stems of poke can both be eaten, but they must be boiled three times in three separate changes of fresh water for safety. Others are the tops of a vegetable (beet tops and turnip tops) while some varieties of turnips have no root vegetable. Cabbage is not commonly included among “greens” in the South. Interesting tidbit, turnip and collard greens are considered better after a frost.

The traditional southern method of cooking collards and turnips is to make a broth with fatback, streak o’lean (salt pork) or bacon and water (sometimes hot peppers are included). The greens are added to the boiling water. After the heat is reduced, the greens are left to simmer for up to two hours. They are then cut into small pieces and served hot, often times with the fried pork. Seasoning is important so vinegar, chopped onions or hot sauce is usually offered. Red wine vinegar is quite popular now.

It is said that greens and salt pork were important to the diet of southerners following the Civil War because meat was scarce. Greens are a great source of riboflavin, calcium and iron as well as vitamins A and C. My grandmother served them both because they tasted good. Check out the great tasting recipe below for preparing roasted turnips.


Sources:

Betts, Edwin Morris, ed. Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824, with Relevant Extracts from His Other Writings. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1944.

Randolph, Mary. The Virginia House-Wife. 1824. Reprint, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1984.


Roasted Turnips with Brown Butter

Ingredients:

3 pounds turnips

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse sea salt

1 stick unsalted butter

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

Fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons honey


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Trim and peel the turnips. Small turnips can be left whole; cut larger turnips into 2-inch chunks.

Place the prepared turnips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the turnips for 45 to 60 minutes, or until they’re tender and browned. Remove from oven.

While the turnips are roasting, cut unsalted butter into small pieces and place in a pot or pan. Heat over medium and let the butter melt, whisking constantly, until it becomes a light tan color. Remove the pan from the burner; the butter will continue cooking even after you remove it from the heat. Once it turns nutty brown in color, pour into a separate bowl to keep it from cooking further. Note: If the butter is overcooked, it will have a bitter taste.

Place the roasted turnips in a serving bowl or platter, and toss with the brown butter. Just before serving, drizzle with honey and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and black pepper.

Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Fmedium_2x%2Fpublic%2F1506467480%2Froasted-turnips-sage-browned-butter-1711p166.jpg

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Joined
Aug 30, 2011
Messages
547
Location
NC Piedmont
#5
Turnip greens or collards with Texas Pete or vinegar are probably my favorite leafy
vegetables to eat. These greens are a seasonal thing if you want the best taste possible.
They should be harvested after the first killing frost of the winter season. Once the
leaves get frostbitten, they have a sweeter taste to them. I know some cooks even
put a dash of sugar in their collards to make them a little sweeter.
 

Jimklag

Lt. Colonel
Silver Patron
Joined
Mar 3, 2017
Messages
9,911
Location
Chicagoland
#8
turnips.jpg

Perhaps nowhere in the United States have greens been so beloved as in the South. I grew up watching my grandmother and mother cook greens—typically collards, turnip greens and some wild leaf greens, but now they’re showing up in “fancy” restaurants as a featured side item. Of course this got me thinking about the “good ole’ days.”

Greens came to the South from around the world. Collards are widely believed to have arrived from Africa via the slave route. Turnips made their way from Asia. Some greens, such as poke (properly pronounced 'po-kay') salad (my grandmother called it “poke - as in “I will poke you” - sallet,”) and dandelion greens grow wild. The leaves and stems of poke can both be eaten, but they must be boiled three times in three separate changes of fresh water for safety. Others are the tops of a vegetable (beet tops and turnip tops) while some varieties of turnips have no root vegetable. Cabbage is not commonly included among “greens” in the South. Interesting tidbit, turnip and collard greens are considered better after a frost.

The traditional southern method of cooking collards and turnips is to make a broth with fatback, streak o’lean (salt pork) or bacon and water (sometimes hot peppers are included). The greens are added to the boiling water. After the heat is reduced, the greens are left to simmer for up to two hours. They are then cut into small pieces and served hot, often times with the fried pork. Seasoning is important so vinegar, chopped onions or hot sauce is usually offered. Red wine vinegar is quite popular now.

It is said that greens and salt pork were important to the diet of southerners following the Civil War because meat was scarce. Greens are a great source of riboflavin, calcium and iron as well as vitamins A and C. My grandmother served them both because they tasted good. Check out the great tasting recipe below for preparing roasted turnips.


Sources:

Betts, Edwin Morris, ed. Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824, with Relevant Extracts from His Other Writings. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1944.

Randolph, Mary. The Virginia House-Wife. 1824. Reprint, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1984.


Roasted Turnips with Brown Butter

Ingredients:

3 pounds turnips

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse sea salt

1 stick unsalted butter

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

Fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons honey


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Trim and peel the turnips. Small turnips can be left whole; cut larger turnips into 2-inch chunks.

Place the prepared turnips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the turnips for 45 to 60 minutes, or until they’re tender and browned. Remove from oven.

While the turnips are roasting, cut unsalted butter into small pieces and place in a pot or pan. Heat over medium and let the butter melt, whisking constantly, until it becomes a light tan color. Remove the pan from the burner; the butter will continue cooking even after you remove it from the heat. Once it turns nutty brown in color, pour into a separate bowl to keep it from cooking further. Note: If the butter is overcooked, it will have a bitter taste.

Place the roasted turnips in a serving bowl or platter, and toss with the brown butter. Just before serving, drizzle with honey and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and black pepper.

Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Fmedium_2x%2Fpublic%2F1506467480%2Froasted-turnips-sage-browned-butter-1711p166.jpg

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I love greens. Collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach - I even like Swiss chard. No kale though.
 

Larryh86GT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
1,856
Location
Near sunny Buffalo New York
#9
I've grown turnips, beets, daikon, radishes, carrots, swiss chard, spinach, etc. I've
found that just the carrots and swish chard are the best producers year after year. The
daikon grows huge but most of it goes to waste. The radishes and spinach
bolt too fast to be of much use. And we eat rutabaga once a year at Thanksgiving
so it's easier to just buy a couple waxed ones when the holiday approaches.
 

christian soldier

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Month
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
2,636
#12
Ellie Honey. We folks up north here do not cook greens or anything that looks like grass. However, I will give you very high marks for your recipe for turnips which I absolutely love. I certainly will be using your recipe for a Sunday dinner. Ellie dear, Why is it that foods that are supposed to be so good for you end up looking and tasting just plain awful? L.O.L.!!! :bounce:David.
 

NH Civil War Gal

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 5, 2017
Messages
2,851
#13
"Some greens, such as poke (properly pronounced 'po-kay') salad (my grandmother called it “poke - as in “I will poke you” - sallet,”) and dandelion greens grow wild. The leaves and stems of poke can both be eaten, but they must be boiled three times in three separate changes of fresh water for safety."

My cousin almost died from poke. This was years ago, btw. She didn't know it needed to be boiled 3 times for safety (and who were the test people for this kind of stuff?), and had heard that poke made a good salad. She went out and cut it and put 2 or 3 tablespoons in a regular salad and she and her daughter were seriously sick and horribly so for several days. She is now in her 80s but remembers vividly the excruciating gastric pain and terrible headaches, etc., from that little adventure.
 

kevikens

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
3,199
Location
New Jersey
#14
I must confess that, Northerner though I am. I LOVE mashed turnips with butter. The interesting thing about turnips is that they were a favorite food of medieval Europe and in to early modern times until partially replaced by white potatoes from the New World. Like our American potatoes turnips will store well if kept in the dark and cool (in, where else, potato cellars). Back towards the end of the First World War so much food had to be sent to the soldiers in the front, and because the Allied naval blockade prevented food importation. the German people planted turnips everywhere they could and that last winter was know as their 'Turnip Winter".
 

Belle Montgomery

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
2,120
Location
44022
#17
Fascinating history of greens and such @Eleanor Rose. Having not had the pleasure of enjoying these growing up, I can't say I'm a fan now. Maybe I've just had the misfortune of not having them prepared correctly!
They are a healthier starch alternative than potatoes. If you're in a hurry you can microwave them like a potato, slice and add olive oil and garlic and sauté OR grill them on a grill too! Delicious!
 

Belle Montgomery

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
2,120
Location
44022
#18
turnips.jpg

Perhaps nowhere in the United States have greens been so beloved as in the South. I grew up watching my grandmother and mother cook greens—typically collards, turnip greens and some wild leaf greens, but now they’re showing up in “fancy” restaurants as a featured side item. Of course this got me thinking about the “good ole’ days.”

Greens came to the South from around the world. Collards are widely believed to have arrived from Africa via the slave route. Turnips made their way from Asia. Some greens, such as poke (properly pronounced 'po-kay') salad (my grandmother called it “poke - as in “I will poke you” - sallet,”) and dandelion greens grow wild. The leaves and stems of poke can both be eaten, but they must be boiled three times in three separate changes of fresh water for safety. Others are the tops of a vegetable (beet tops and turnip tops) while some varieties of turnips have no root vegetable. Cabbage is not commonly included among “greens” in the South. Interesting tidbit, turnip and collard greens are considered better after a frost.

The traditional southern method of cooking collards and turnips is to make a broth with fatback, streak o’lean (salt pork) or bacon and water (sometimes hot peppers are included). The greens are added to the boiling water. After the heat is reduced, the greens are left to simmer for up to two hours. They are then cut into small pieces and served hot, often times with the fried pork. Seasoning is important so vinegar, chopped onions or hot sauce is usually offered. Red wine vinegar is quite popular now.

It is said that greens and salt pork were important to the diet of southerners following the Civil War because meat was scarce. Greens are a great source of riboflavin, calcium and iron as well as vitamins A and C. My grandmother served them both because they tasted good. Check out the great tasting recipe below for preparing roasted turnips.


Sources:

Betts, Edwin Morris, ed. Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824, with Relevant Extracts from His Other Writings. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1944.

Randolph, Mary. The Virginia House-Wife. 1824. Reprint, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1984.


Roasted Turnips with Brown Butter

Ingredients:

3 pounds turnips

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse sea salt

1 stick unsalted butter

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

Fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons honey


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Trim and peel the turnips. Small turnips can be left whole; cut larger turnips into 2-inch chunks.

Place the prepared turnips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the turnips for 45 to 60 minutes, or until they’re tender and browned. Remove from oven.

While the turnips are roasting, cut unsalted butter into small pieces and place in a pot or pan. Heat over medium and let the butter melt, whisking constantly, until it becomes a light tan color. Remove the pan from the burner; the butter will continue cooking even after you remove it from the heat. Once it turns nutty brown in color, pour into a separate bowl to keep it from cooking further. Note: If the butter is overcooked, it will have a bitter taste.

Place the roasted turnips in a serving bowl or platter, and toss with the brown butter. Just before serving, drizzle with honey and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and black pepper.

Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Fmedium_2x%2Fpublic%2F1506467480%2Froasted-turnips-sage-browned-butter-1711p166.jpg

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So delicious! Less starch than a potato!
 

jgoodguy

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,552
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
#19
I've grown turnips, beets, daikon, radishes, carrots, swiss chard, spinach, etc. I've
found that just the carrots and swish chard are the best producers year after year. The
daikon grows huge but most of it goes to waste. The radishes and spinach
bolt too fast to be of much use. And we eat rutabaga once a year at Thanksgiving
so it's easier to just buy a couple waxed ones when the holiday approaches.
That is my experience, most greens bolt too soon.
 

Belle Montgomery

Sergeant Major
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
2,120
Location
44022
#20
turnips.jpg

Perhaps nowhere in the United States have greens been so beloved as in the South. I grew up watching my grandmother and mother cook greens—typically collards, turnip greens and some wild leaf greens, but now they’re showing up in “fancy” restaurants as a featured side item. Of course this got me thinking about the “good ole’ days.”

Greens came to the South from around the world. Collards are widely believed to have arrived from Africa via the slave route. Turnips made their way from Asia. Some greens, such as poke (properly pronounced 'po-kay') salad (my grandmother called it “poke - as in “I will poke you” - sallet,”) and dandelion greens grow wild. The leaves and stems of poke can both be eaten, but they must be boiled three times in three separate changes of fresh water for safety. Others are the tops of a vegetable (beet tops and turnip tops) while some varieties of turnips have no root vegetable. Cabbage is not commonly included among “greens” in the South. Interesting tidbit, turnip and collard greens are considered better after a frost.

The traditional southern method of cooking collards and turnips is to make a broth with fatback, streak o’lean (salt pork) or bacon and water (sometimes hot peppers are included). The greens are added to the boiling water. After the heat is reduced, the greens are left to simmer for up to two hours. They are then cut into small pieces and served hot, often times with the fried pork. Seasoning is important so vinegar, chopped onions or hot sauce is usually offered. Red wine vinegar is quite popular now.

It is said that greens and salt pork were important to the diet of southerners following the Civil War because meat was scarce. Greens are a great source of riboflavin, calcium and iron as well as vitamins A and C. My grandmother served them both because they tasted good. Check out the great tasting recipe below for preparing roasted turnips.


Sources:

Betts, Edwin Morris, ed. Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824, with Relevant Extracts from His Other Writings. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1944.

Randolph, Mary. The Virginia House-Wife. 1824. Reprint, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1984.


Roasted Turnips with Brown Butter

Ingredients:

3 pounds turnips

2 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse sea salt

1 stick unsalted butter

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

Fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons honey


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°. Trim and peel the turnips. Small turnips can be left whole; cut larger turnips into 2-inch chunks.

Place the prepared turnips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt.

Roast the turnips for 45 to 60 minutes, or until they’re tender and browned. Remove from oven.

While the turnips are roasting, cut unsalted butter into small pieces and place in a pot or pan. Heat over medium and let the butter melt, whisking constantly, until it becomes a light tan color. Remove the pan from the burner; the butter will continue cooking even after you remove it from the heat. Once it turns nutty brown in color, pour into a separate bowl to keep it from cooking further. Note: If the butter is overcooked, it will have a bitter taste.

Place the roasted turnips in a serving bowl or platter, and toss with the brown butter. Just before serving, drizzle with honey and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and black pepper.

Ffiles%2Fstyles%2Fmedium_2x%2Fpublic%2F1506467480%2Froasted-turnips-sage-browned-butter-1711p166.jpg

Cooking Light
Does anyone else remember this hit from back in 1969 first sung by Tony Joe White and then Elvis sang it too!? I remember loving it on the radio but never knew what he was talking about! Now I do! LOL

If some of ya'll never been down south too much
I'm gonna tell you a little bit about this
So that you'll understand what I'm talkin' about
Down there we have a plant that grows out in the woods
And in the fields looks somethin' like a turnip green
And everybody calls it polk salad, polk salad
Used to know a girl lived down there
And she'd go out in the evenings and pick her a mess of it
Carry it home and cook it for supper
'Cause thats about all they had to eat, but they did all right
Down in Louisiana, where the alligators grow so mean
There lived a girl, that I swear to the world
Made the alligators look tame
Polk salad Annie, polk salad Annie
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(A mean vicious woman)
Everyday for supper time, she'd go down by the truck patch
And pick her a mess of polk salad, and carry it home in a tow sack
Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody says it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(A wretched, spiteful, straight-razor totin' woman
Lord have Mercy, pick a mess of it)
Her daddy was lazy and no count, claimed he had a bad back
All her brothers were fit for was stealin' watermelons
Out of my truck patch
Polk salad Annie, the gators got your granny
Everybody said it was a shame
Cause her momma was a workin' on the chain gang
(Sock a little polk salad to me, you know I need me a mess of it)
Songwriters: Tony White / Tony Joe White
Polk Salad Annie lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 



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