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by on April 15th, 2010

Turnip Rose

O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?


(Juliet)

Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

Romeo:
[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?

Juliet:
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,
Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose   (turnip)
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
and for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

Thank you William.  I always think of this when I do a turnip rose. Why? I don’t know. I just always think “a rose by any other name” and then realized where that line comes.

I have been making these beautiful little roses for years. I have tinted them yellows, orange and pinks. I absolutely love these as a platter garnish. These are beautiful as a centerpiece on a platter of cucumber sandwiches at a lady’s luncheon. Or, any kind of garnish or a platter or you could do a whole centerpiece of these turnip roses.

I know you are thinking, these look really complicated, BUT, if you have tried making my citrus flowers, these are made basically made the same way, just start rolling and stacking and before you know it you have a beautiful rose.

What a lowly little root vegetable with nothing exciting going on in it’s life.  Oh, she dreams for something so much more glamorous than a pot full of turnips and greens.

She peels off her outer covering to see what is revealed.

Sliced up and ready for a new look.

A thin sliced ready to roll.

The back side of the rose after you have added layers of turnip slices. Pick as much as needed to hold together.

What she looks like before she has her hair “colored”. I wouldn’t leave them white as they tend to turn brownish.

Now which one of those roses would take the prize — the “Knock Out Rose” or “The Turnip Rose”. So a rose by any other name,  could be the lowly turnip rose.

Turnip Rose

First and most important — you will need a mandoline to make these. Start with fresh turnips. Do not get the ones that look like they are starting to dry on the outside. Peel the turnips as thinly as possible. A potato peeler works the best. Experiment with your mandoline until you get the thinnest whole slice of turnip. You want these as thin as possible because it will make rolling easier. Drop these slices into some warm salted water. Let them stand for 10-15 minutes and they will soften somewhat.

Now, pick up one very thin slice and roll it up. See picture above. Then you simply start wrapping more slices around, overlapping previous slice by a little. Once you have make the size of rose you want, start sticking toothpicks through the bottom, crisscrossing until you have all the petals firmly together.

Take the rose in your hand and kind of flare out some of the petals. I usually drop the finished roses into ice water that I have tinted (with food coloring) for about 10-15 minutes. They will crisp up. Drain, cover with plastic wrap until you are ready to use them.

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