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Sweet and sour turnips
(Rapas sive napos)

Apicius III.XIII.1

Sweet and sour turnips (Rapas sive napos)

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Original recipe: Rapas sive napos: Elixatos exprimes, deinde teres cuminum plurimum, rutam minus, laser parthicum, mel, acetum, liquamen, defritum et oleum modice. Fervere facies et inferes.

Translation: Turnips or (European) ramps: Once they are boiled, squeeze the excess liquid from them, then grind a generous amount of cumin, a smaller amount of rue, Parthian laser, honey, vinegar, garum, defrutum, and a bit of oil. Bring to a boil and serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish, or 8 as a feast portion


  • 2 lb. turnips
  • ample cumin
  • a pinch of rue, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon asafoetida (Parthian laser)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. garum
  • 1 Tbs. defrutum
  • 1-2 Tbs. olive oil


  • Peel and boil the turnips. Drain, slice, and arrange in a casserole with a sauce consisting of the cumin, rue, asafoetida, honey, vinegar, garum, defrutum, and olive oil.
  • Heat for several minutes to steep, then serve.
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