In researching recipes for March, I was disappointed to discover that rutabaga doesn’t really feature outside of hearty, warming, northern European cuisine. Much as I love that type of food (it is what I grew up with, after all) I was hoping to find a little more variety to experiment with. I did attempt to come up with a few of my own ideas but straying too far from my own experiences is difficult and really requires several attempts to perfect each recipe. I think I’ll have to devote some more time to rutabaga, perhaps as an ongoing project next winter, because it really does have a delicious, unique and versatile flavor.
On the bright side, for anyone still stuck in the death throes of winter, these recipes will all be deliciously warming and comforting!
First of all I tried a really simple dish. Cubed swede, potato and leek thrown in the bottom of a roasting dish with a piece of lamb on top. I’d prefer to use lamb shanks but my supermarket didn’t have any. These bone-in chops worked well but didn’t provide as much delicious juice to soak into the vegetables as they cook.
Next, a nice, hearty chicken and root vegetable casserole.
Blend up any leftover casserole or make chicken (or vegetable) soup from scratch. Rutabaga is (in my opinion) a requirement for soups like these.
Since swede is a lot like potato (and even more like sweet potato) it can easily be substituted as a lower-carb option. Often served mashed with butter as a side, on its own or 50:50 with potato, I decided to use it as the topping for my cottage pie, using this beef and onion recipe for the base.
I love potato gratin so I definitely had to try this rich, root vegetable gratin recipe.
I also decided to try simply roasting the rutabaga. Chopped into slices and tossed in oil, butter and plenty of salt (pepper, ground spices or herbs could make nice additions, too) then roasted in a hot oven (450F) for 20-30 minutes each side. I ate mine on their own as lunch but they’d also work as a side.
I did see a recipe for biryani that included swede but it was vegetarian and I was concerned about the spice in it (I like spice for flavor but I can’t tolerate even the slightest heat) so I ignored it. Instead I did some research on biryani in general and decided to put together my own recipe. Perhaps that was foolish, given that it’s not something I’ve ever cooked before and I don’t even have a lot of experience with Indian cooking in general. Either way, it turned out quite nicely but the recipe isn’t something that’s ready to share just yet!
I was hoping to find a pasta sauce recipe which included rutabaga but all I could find were recipes where swede replaced the pasta. I guess that’s just another recipe I’m going to have to come up with myself! If you do know of any, or any other great rutabaga recipes, please let me know.