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I needed turnips for a turnip gratin on Thanksgiving and bought turnips at Fresh Market. My daughter was with me and they clearly looked like turnips and we both remember they were labeled as turnips as well. When I sliced into them for the gratin, the inside was red, and the taste was like a very peppery and bitter radish. What in the world did I have because it was not a turnip?!

asked by cantrelld almost 7 years ago

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5 answers 790 views
3639eee1 5e0d 4861 b1ed 149bd0559f64  gator cake
hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

added almost 7 years ago

I wonder if it is watermelon radish, though they are supposed to be mild radishes. They can get to be big (4" diameter), are pale green on the outside and pink to red on the inside. http://www.reneesgarden...

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23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 7 years ago

A photo would be helpful, but I wonder if it's an unusual variety?
http://www.tokyofoundation...
mind you, raw turnip is quite bitter and peppery in any case, it only mellows with cooking.

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1a747262 cf1a 4807 a466 8bb23e85a0c5  stringio
added almost 7 years ago

After googling watermelon radish, I think that is what I must have had. The pictures match exactly, inside and out. Thank you, hardlikearmour!

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4d625ded d965 42c7 b1ee ec9d7dc7fb4e  profilepic
added almost 7 years ago

I agree with hardlikearmour -- it sounds like you bought a watermelon radish (which, incidentally, is just delightful with butter and salt!) While it's quite pungent raw, it mellows significantly when baked. One of my favorite dishes is radishes baked with miso butter -- the radishes become sweet and tender, losing all of their bite.

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added almost 7 years ago

I say it was a turnip. Perhaps a Japanese turnip (Ohno Red is one variety, Red Round is another). Turnips come in all colors: gold, purpletop, pure white, red. You can find them all in the wonderful Fedco seed catalog. And that miso butter suggestion by Rivka is a good one.

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