Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rutabaga, Swede & Neeps: A Bounty of Brassicas

One of autumn’s robust brassicas, this cruciferous cabbage is also known as yellow turnip, Swedish turnip, Russian turnip, English swede and in North America, rutabaga. In Scotland, where it's known as neeps, swede is the traditional accompaniment to haggis on Burns night. Technically, a rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and turnip, and shares turnips' slightly bitter flavour but tastes milder than turnips, almost like a carrot without the sweetness. With a round shape and a purple-green skin with yellowy-orange flesh and a sweet, earthy flavour, it's in cooked dishes where rutabagas truly shine. They can be cut into chunks and boiled for 12-15 minutes, roasted for 40-55 minutes or steamed for 10-15 minutes. Mixed with cream and butter, anything will taste great, but for a low fat and carb-free option, this Mashed Rutabaga recipe makes a lovely addition to Thanksgiving along with the usual suspects: brussels sprouts, roast potatoes and plump turkey roasted to golden perfection.

Mashed Rutabaga
Serves 4

1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tbsp butter
Pinch nutmeg
kosher salt and white pepper

Place the rutabaga in a pan of cold salted water, cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until very tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and mash with a potato masher, and add some butter, salt, white pepper and a generous grating of nutmeg; taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

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