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Old 11-12-2008, 02:45 PM   #1
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Trying new veggies

I love to eat new veggies. There are some I would like to try but just unsure of what their flavor is like and if I'd enjoy them.

These are the ones I'd like to try; please give a description (an ACCURATE one please) of what they taste like. If they have a bitter taste or a slimy or mushy texture, I'm going to avoid them like the plague.

Anyway ones I want to try are these:

*Okra (heard that if not prepared properly, you get a really unpleasant, slimy and rubbery texture). Is this true? If so, how can you cook them prior to using them in your recipe to avoid this problem?

*Turnip. Honestly I'm torn on this one. I want to try it but at the same time I'm reluctant to do so. I heard they can be bitter, but I also heard they're only bitter if you select older turnips. Heard younger turnips have a mild and pleasant flavor. Can somebody please clue me in on what they taste like?

*Beets. Want to try it, but have heard they taste like dirt. How much truth is there to this? If they taste like dirt, I'll loathe them. Baby corn tastes like dirt to me, and as a result, I hate it.

*Eggplant. Is it bitter if you don't salt it prior to cooking? I also heard that salting it helps to draw out the water from it. Heard that most of the veggie is made up of water and as a result, the water from the eggplant can dilute the flavors in a dish. Is it bitter? Does it have a rubbery or slimy texture? If such is the case to both (it IS rubbery and/or slimy or it's bitter) then does salting it prior to cooking, to draw out the moisture from
it help to solve these problems. Is Japanese eggplant milder or sweeter then the more common globe eggplant?

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Old 11-12-2008, 02:53 PM   #2
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Can't help ya. You picked 3 of 4 that I don't eat.
I've tried them all in various incarnations and they just don't like my taste buds.
Okra I use in soups but that is it.
And yeah... cook it wrong and you get a bowl of swamp scum... gross!
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:11 PM   #3
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Okra is slimy but is delicious if you prepare it right. I think key is wash the okra and let them completely dry. Then chop it into rounds and fry it with onions, tomatoes, garlic, spices and don't add any water as you do it. It's like stir frying. Don't stir it too much and cook on high. It turns out soft and wonderful. Again it's an acquired taste but you said you were open to trying.

Turnips: I am not a huge fan of turnips. It's very strong for me personally but I will try it outside, I just am not going to take time to prepare it at home.

Beets: They are wonderful. So sweet and earthy. That's what I like about them. I was recently in Denver at a conference and went to a restaurant called Elways. I ordered a beet and fresh mozzarella salad and it was to die for. They had three types of beets (white, yellow and red) sliced superthin . Almost like a thin sheet similar to a carpaccio and sprinkled with some sea salt, olive oil, lemon and cracked pepper. Its best to serve them as a salad with a hint of lemon, salt and pepper.
Eggplant: I love this veggie. There are so many ways you can prepare it. It's not bitter if you prepare it right. I use the large globe one, japanese one and the baby Indian one and I have atleast a dozen different recipes for it. I think I shared one with you earlier.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:21 PM   #4
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I hate okra, brrrrrr
I cook turnip in the soup

There are tons of wasy to use beets, even though I am not big fan of them, I use it all the time.

I love egg plant because there even more ways to use that one than beets.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:34 PM   #5
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When asking for an accurate description of the flavors of the veggies you listed above, do consider that I am giving you an accurate description of how those veggies taste to ME. How they taste to me may not taste the same way to someone else.

Okra is great, slimey if not prepared properly. Kind of a leathery texture on the outside with a rather faint earthy flavor. They will reflect what ever seasonings that you use and can be easily over powered. Fried okra is the best and one of my favorites. If using in soups or stews, you can put the cut okra on a baking pan and bake for 10 minutes at 250. It will dry em right out. (Sprinkle a little S&P on them and they are great that way!)

Beets & turnips... have not tried myself.

Eggplant... I do not like so I will spare you my description of that!
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:16 PM   #6
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I am assuming based upon what people have said on the preparation of okra, that it's possible to avoid the slimy texture of it if you prepare it properly.
I would like to try it, so how do I cook it or prepare it before I add it to a dish, to prevent a slimy and/or rubbery texture from developing?
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:16 PM   #7
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"ACCURATE"? That's virtually impossible, because tastes differ so widely. In addition, I LOVE many vegetables prepared certain ways; dislike or even HATE them prepared other ways. You have to learn to be a lot more flexible as far as trying different things, otherwise you're going to lose out on a lot of fine eating.

Okra - I use it in soups, stews, stirfries, & breaded & fried. The only time I've found it "slimy" is when it's been served plain boiled, although some folks like it that way.

Turnips - come in several different varieties, all with their own tastes. Can be strong, can be mild. Depends. I enjoy them cut into chunks & oven roasted; also boiled, drained, & sugar or honey-glazed.

Beets - I really like their "earthy" flavor. (No, they don't taste like dirt. Geez.) Enjoy them roasted, boiled & buttered, boiled & glazed, or with an orange sauce. Also like them cooked & added to salads.

Eggplant - hundreds of different varieties. No, you do NOT need to do the salting/rinsing/draining nonsense. Young, high-quality eggplant is never bitter; old seedy eggplant won't be appetizing no matter what you do to it. I like eggplant baked ala parmagian style, baked in pasta dishes, in Szechuan stirfries, stuffed whole, in caponata & other relish-type dishes, etc., etc.

Again - there's no ACCURATE way of describing these vegetables for you. You're just going to have to bite the bullet & try them. And try them more than once, & in different preparations. That's all there is to it. Enjoy the experience. Nothing is going to kill you.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:26 PM   #8
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I haven't had okra. I like turnips in soup only. It's a cross between a cooked potato and carrot to me. Beets in a salad is good. Try them in a white bean salad recipe. As for the eggplant, a good eggplant parmesan would turn anyone on to them. They have a great buttery flavor and they can be extremly versatile.
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Old 11-12-2008, 04:43 PM   #9
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I heard that if you microwave okra prior to cooking it, that this will eliminate the sliminess of it.
How do you go about microwaving it? Do you need to add a little water to it? How long does it need to be microwaved for to get rid of the sliminess? Do you need to cut it up prior to microwaving it in order to get rid of the sliminess? If you don't need to cut it up prior to microwaving it, can you cut it up after you've microwaved it, without worrying about it becoming slimy? I also heard if you add a little vinegar to it when you microwave it, that the acidity from the vinegar will get rid of the sliminess; how much (per pound of okra) vinegar do you need to add to it when microwaving it to get rid of the sliminess?

I also heard another method is to stir-fry it prior to preparing it? At what heat (medium, low, etc.)
do you need to stir fry it at and for how to get rid of the sliminess? Do you need to add butter or oil
and heat them in the pan before you stir-fry it, or can you just do a dry-fry (heat, with no oil or butter).
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:27 AM   #10
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I can't tell you how any of them taste- everyone tastes them differently. Like someone else said, bite the bullet and try them. You won't know how you want to prepare them until you try it also. And if you want to stir fry, stir fry is always high heat.
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Old 11-18-2008, 07:59 AM   #11
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i agree with breezy on the turnips.

I roasted them whole on a bed of salt. they get kidan sweet on there own. then i peel them and slice them and do a nice honey glaze with some butter and what not.

so good.

Okra i havent gotten to use much


eggplant i split in half and roast.

or ill slice it and bread it and fry it.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:14 AM   #12
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I use turnip in soups. The DW makes a cold layered veggie salad with beets. You could shred some blanched beet and top a potato salad, slaw or greens salad. Wear latex gloves when working with beets, and wear an apron or clothes you don't mind ruining. Eggplant can be prepared many ways. I prefer to grill it or saute it with onion and tomato as a side.

Another "different" veggie thats good is plantain. Google some fried plantain recipes and use them in place of a starch like rice or potato.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:37 AM   #13
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Okra is actually pretty tasty, although it's easier to eat if someone else prepares it for you the first time, as when you slice it, it does ooze a slimy, snotty looking substance. But it's very tasty when stewed with tomatoes, added to soups, or breaded and fried. Be sure you choose the young, tender pods.

Small to medium sized turnips are good sliced raw and salted for a snack. The flavor is best this time of the year, after hard frost. They can be added to soups and stews, or cooked with butter and brown sugar. Some people also cook them with their greens, onion, a pinch of sugar and a ham hock. If you Google turnip recipes, you will find many...just pick one that sounds good to you. A relative of the turnip, rutabaga, is milder and sweeter.

Beets are wonderful! They taste earthy, but not like dirt. I love the pickled ones best, but they are good any way you serve them.

Eggplant is a relatively new vegetable to me, but I fixed eggplant parmasan last summer and discovered how good it is. The Italians call it poor man's steak, and it is very meaty tasting. Again, Google eggplant recipes and choose one.

A vegetable I haven't tried yet is parsnip. I understand they are very sweet and can be used like carrots.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:43 AM   #14
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Make sure you get WHITE turnips. Those yellow things some folks call "turnips" and others call "Swede," are really rutabaga, and they're the only veggie I could live forever without.

I love the really small Japanese turnips that come with their greens attached. I slice and saute them with some garlic and sometimes red onions, and when they're all browned and crispy, I toss in the greens and let them wilt. It's SO good!

I could write you a whole book on eggplant. I dearly love it, and prepare it often, in season, in many, many ways, from salads to moussaka. and don't get me started on Baba Ghanouj!
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
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A vegetable I haven't tried yet is parsnip. I understand they are very sweet and can be used like carrots.
They resemble carrots too. I use parsnip in soups too, but not too much to overpower it. They taste great roasted.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:16 AM   #16
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I could never understand the question "how does it taste?" Everything tastes just like what it is. How do you describe to someone what something tastes like? Food tastes differently to each and every one of us and the way it is prepared makes a ton of difference.

There is no vegetable I haven't eaten. I love them all and I can find a dozen ways to prepare each one to their best advantage. Some of the veggies you say you hate and wouldn't even try are my favorites.

Why not just buy the veggies or whatever, make it the way you think you would like it (there are millions of recipes from this site to Google sites) and see for yourself.

I have a good friend who wouldn't eat a potato if her life depended on it. She hates them. If I had never eaten a potato and asked herto give me a description of what they tasted like, I wouldn't touch them either. See what I mean?

As for rutabaga, my family loves them and so do I. We HAVE to have them every Thankgiving or it just isn't the same. Steamed til they're soft, riced then mixed with butter, salt and pepper. OMG! Different strokes for different folks.

Not everything tastes like chicken.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:54 AM   #17
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See? This is just what I meant - "Rutabaga" - some can't stand it; others love it. The only way you're ever going to be able to decide for yourself is to TRY IT. And try it different ways.

Once, in a little French bistro type restaurant on the east end of Long Island, we were served a complimentary crudite basket that included some pale orange sticks that we couldn't identify, but that we both loved. Turns out they were raw Rutabaga!! I'd never have guessed, & it gave me one more way to enjoy this veggie besides mashed.
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Old 11-18-2008, 12:58 PM   #18
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I love fried Okra. We call it Georgia Popcorn!
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:46 PM   #19
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IMHO, okra is an essential ingrediet in gumbos (although there are versions made without it). I also like fried okra and stewed okra and tomatoes. I can do without plain stewed okra.
I seldom eat turnips but do use them occaisionally in soups and stews. I love turnips greens. They are a staple in traditional Southern cuisine, usually topped with a little pepper vinegar.

Eggplant is another of my favorites. Search google for recipes. If you like Southern food, a couple to look for are Eggplant Creole and Scalloped Eggplant.

Fresh beets are wonderful, simply peeled and cooked in boiling water like cooking potatoes. They can be eaten warm or chilled and are especially good in salads.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
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IMHO, okra is an essential ingrediet in gumbos (although there are versions made without it).
Fresh beets are wonderful, simply peeled and cooked in boiling water like cooking potatoes. They can be eaten warm or chilled and are especially good in salads.
Okra is essential in gumbo because it acts as a thickening agent for the roux. If you overcook it the okra becomes tough and stringy, and oddly enough, the thickening disappears. You can also use file gumbo a form of okra if you don't want to buy the real thing. Works just as good. It's in the spice section of your supermarket. Pronounced Fillee gumbo.

AND the beets - I have always steamed or boiled beets until I discovered roasting them. Cut all but 1 inch off the bottom root and all but 2 inches of the top, this keeps the color from bleeding. Wash with a stiff brush, don't peel, wrap in aluminum foil and bake at 375 for about 1 hour, more if the beets are large. Cool, then slip the peel off. Slice or dice, salt pepper and butter. That's it. The taste is unbelievable. I will never boil beets again.
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