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Old 11-12-2008, 03:45 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, 03:53 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, 04:11 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, 04:21 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, 04:34 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, 05:16 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, 05:16 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, 05:26 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, 05:43 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, 08:27 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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