Market Fresh: Rutabagas

I feel as if the rutabaga is a neglected vegetable in the US. Countless people pass it on the market shelf and never stop to consider it a possibility for their kitchen.

Originally from northern Europe, a cross between the cabbage and turnip, the rutabaga was a common menu item until after the first World War. Having been resorted to when there was nothing else to eat, people grew tired of it and it lost its popularity. A shame, really, because nowadays it can add a pleasant change to our normal diets.

While living in Scotland, I had a greater opportunity to get to know the rutabaga. In the UK, it is known as “swede”, short for Swedish turnip. Its use is prevalent in soups and stews and when boiled and mashed is referred to as “neeps” to accompany the national dish of haggis.

If you have never tried rutabaga before, the following recipe is an excellent way to begin. Rutabaga, when mashed with potatoes, results in a sublime combination of slightly sweet, slightly tangy that is an excellent accompaniment to the Sunday roast.

MASHED RUTABAGAS AND POTATOES
(Heather)

1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped in 1/2-inch cubes
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
cream
salt & pepper

Carefully slice away the outside peel of the rutabaga and then chop the inside into 1/2-inch cubes.

IMG_7130

IMG_7132

Peel and chop the potatoes and combine all the chopped vegetables into a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer until all vegetables are tender. Drain. Add some cream (maybe 1/3 cup) and salt and pepper — or whatever you like to add to your mashed potatoes: butter, sour-cream, etc.

Serves 6.

IMG_7136

Advertisements

One response

  1. we used to serve rutabaga sometimes when I worked at the retirement community. I had never eaten it before, but found that I kind of liked it.:) mashing it with potatoes sounds like a great idea.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s