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How do I mash turnips or swedes?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Annemieke, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. Annemieke

    Annemieke Gardener

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    My husband has grown turnips and swedes for years. But whenever I want to make a nice recipe calling for the mashed versions, I can't do it. I cut them really small, but however long I cook them, up to 2 hours! they do get soft (ish), but never soft enough to mash.
    The turnips may have been too old, but the swedes I cooked just now - early October - and it's the same thing.
    I put them up with cold water (you're supposed to with roots and potatoes, I read), and no salt.
    ???
    Thanks! Annemieke.
     
  2. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    I don't really have a problem with it so can only think that the ones you're using are old and tough. :noidea:

    Here's a video

     
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    • Fat Controller

      Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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      Cut them into small cubes - half an inch thick at the most, boil the swede on a really high heat (vigorous boil) for approximately 30 minutes and don't forget to salt the water. The salt is not just to help the flavour, it also raises the boiling point of the water which helps cook the swede.

      You can use a conventional masher, but the swede can be a wee bit slippy and reluctant to mash - I would advocate using a ricer, and add a wee bit of good quality butter (proper butter, not processed stuff) and a bit of freshly ground black pepper.

      They go really nicely with carrots (75% swede, 25% carrots is a good mix, but you can vary this to suit), riced up with butter, pepper and a wee sprinkling of mixed herbs or fresh herbs as you choose.

      You can roast them too.
       
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      • silu

        silu gardening easy...hmmm

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        Agree with all the above and would add that you really need to peel the Swede quite thickly so you get to the orange flesh below the whitish layer if this makes sense. They need peeling quite a bit thicker than say potatoes. I grow Swede, we call it Turnip/neeps in Scotland! and mine this year maybe due to the scorching summer are a bit on the woody side. Certainly they are best eaten when quite small/young. They make a nice alternative to roasted Parsnip and I often cut pieces quite thin and roast them round a chicken or lamb joint.
         
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        • mazambo

          mazambo Gardener

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          We always use a pressure cooker for veg, does a great job.
           
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          • Annemieke

            Annemieke Gardener

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            Having read all this, I think the clue is in the salt. I never put salt in the cooking water for veg - I salt them after draining, only if they taste like they need it. Most of them don't. I do this mainly because I always drink the cooking water. I have to make an exception for the swedes and turnips then. Thanks!
             
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            • zilly

              zilly Gardener

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              Simple chop potato, swede, turnip into 50 pence pieces, put in pan bring to boil and keep boiling for about 35 mins, mash and add black pepper, lovely one of our favs.
               
            • Fat Controller

              Fat Controller Cuddly Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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              Be careful not to over-boil swede, as it will turn into hockey pucks if you boil it too long.
               
            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              Once mashed you can add a whole variety of things if you wish. From olive oil or butter to give it a smoother feel, mayonnaise to also give a smoother feel and some added flavour, or a range of things from spices or herbs to other cooked veggies added to it. Caramelising and adding nicely softened onions was the favourite of a friend of mine.
               
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              • Annemieke

                Annemieke Gardener

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                Sounds good Shiney. I knew most of this, but not the caramelising! By the way I've tried them now cooked with salt and it works a treat - no more trouble getting them soft.
                 
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                • Annemieke

                  Annemieke Gardener

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                  Don't forget to mention the salt in the cooking water Zilly - that was my problem in the first place.
                   
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                  • Jack Sparrow

                    Jack Sparrow Total Gardener

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                    If you bake them in the oven whole (about 1 1/2 hours) the skins peel off and you're left with lovely juicy flesh. That's what I do with butternut squash. I don't see why it would'nt work for Swedes and turnips.

                    G.
                     
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                      Last edited: Oct 20, 2018

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