Turnip: vegetable that played a great role in ancient Rus.Lori / Legion-Media
The humble turnip has played an outsized role in the diet of people throughout history. Ancient Greeks offered turnips as a sacrifice to Apollo, the Egyptians fed turnips to the workers who built the pyramids and turnips were the favorite dish of poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and philosopher Immanuel Kant.
It should come as no surprise that there are a lot of popular Russian expressions connected with turnips. “I want to eat some turnips, but my teeth are not strong enough” (“Поел бы репки, да зубки редки”), can be used to politely turn down a task; “this turnip seems to be as sweet as an apple for us” (“Нам и репка за яблочко кажет”) means that people do not need a lot of wealth to be happy. And almost nothing is “easier than a steamed turnip” (“Проще пареной репы”).
Old cookbooks contain hundreds of recipes for turnips, but the most traditional way to prepare it is by steaming, a way of cooking associated with the old Russian stove, or pech’. Try this easy recipe for traditional steamed turnips.
2. Boil the rice.
3. Carefully scoop the pulp from the turnips and mix it with the rice, raisins, egg and melted butter.
4. Stuff the turnips with this mixture, sprinkle them with cheese and bake in an oven for 15 minutes.
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