I've always passed over Rutabagas at the market because I'd never been formally introduced to them and had no idea what to do with one if I brought it back to my kitchen.
Since my Autumn and Winter months have been filled with fun with root vegetables like beets, turnips, and parsnips, I figured there was no sense in leaving Rutabaga out of my seasonal vegetable rotation.
My opportunity to experiment with Rutabaga came while shopping at the Marché Bio de Raspail this past Sunday, where I spotted some at the stand of Eric & Martial Refour. These organic apple growers bring about a dozen varieties to the market each week, along with seasonal organic vegetables from the Val du Loire region.
After tasting samples from their large apple selection, I picked out a few parsnips and rutabagas and went home to experiment.
What: Rutabagas (Swedes)
When: February 3, 2013
Where: Marché Bio de Raspail 75006, Eric and Martial Refour's stand
How: The vendor at the Refour stand explained to me that Rutabagas are best prepared with other vegetables. I chose a favorite of mine, parsnips, to accompany this unknown- to-me légume and decided to make a purée.
Rutabaga flesh gets spongy and porous when cooked, much unlike the tough interior of a parsnip. The combination of the two results in a hearty, yet fluffy purée that makes for a great side, or even a main dish.
Rutabaga and Parsnip Purée
1 tablespoon butter
1 large rutabaga
3 cups broth
Salt & Pepper
1) Scrub rutabaga and parsnip with a vegetable brush under cold water, be sure to remove all the dirt. Chop into evenly sized cubes.
2) Melt butter in a casserole on medium heat. Once butter is melted add the parsnips and rutabaga, stir until coated with butter. Let simmer 3-5 minutes.
3) Add three cups of broth, increase heat slightly, and cover. Let the veggies cook until tender, 15-20 minutes.
4) Once the vegetables are easily pierced with a knife, remove from heat and use a hand mixer to purée. Add more water or butter as needed and mix until smooth.
5) Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.