Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mashed Carrot and Rutabaga (Swede)

I wonder when rutabaga will become the next superfood. Right now, it's pretty obscure, right along with its friends, parsnip and celery root. But I like rutabaga ... a lot. I don't buy it often, maybe because it's tucked in an odd corner at the grocery store.

When I found a recipe for "carrot and swede" in the book Root to Leaf written by Steven Satterfield, I figured I'd give it a try, The focuses on seasonal cooking, and rutabaga (also known as swede) and carrots make a lot of sense at this time of year.

I reviewed it here, if you're interested in more details about the book.

As far as the recipe, it's pretty simple, and makes a bright, colorful side dish for pretty much any meal. If you're looking for something more vegetable-y than potatoes, this could be a good choice,

Rutabagas have a sharp flavor - similar to cabbage - so it might be a little too strong for some folks. In this recipe, the sweetness of the carrots helps to balance the flavor. If you need to tone the flavor down even more, this could be mixed with mashed potatoes.

Really, though, I was very happy with this as-is.

Carrots and Swede
Adapted from Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield

2 medium rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Add the rutabaga and carrots to a heavy-bottomed pot. Add water to cover by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the rutabaga and carrots are both very tender.

Keep in mind that you're going to be mashing them, so crisp-tender isn't going to cut it. Figure about 30 minutes, and adjust the timing as needed.

Drain the vegetables in a colander and let them continue draining for at least 5 minutes. Rutabaga can be watery, so you need to get all the water drained, or your puree can be a little soggy.

Return the vegetables to the pot. Add the butter, nutmeg, pepper, and half of the salt. Mash well. I wanted a smooth puree, so I used a stick blender, but if you're energetic and the vegetables were cooked well enough, you can mash by hand.

Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed. If the puree is seeping water, heat it gently and stir until the water evaporates.

Serve hot.