Vegetable Series: When we changed our eating two years ago, I resolved to be afraid of no vegetable. Not knowing how to cut it or cook it was NOT going to keep it out of my cart. For a long time I’ve wanted to do a series of posts on all the different vegetables we have tried and what we do to the poor things. May you, too, vow to try any and all vegetables in your supermarket! Go get ’em, tiger.
Ever try a recipe from this blog? Check out this humorous story my friend shared with me.
My good friend’s sister: “I made spaghetti squash spaghetti from your friend’s blog. She said her kids loved it.”
My friend: “Yeah?”
My good friend’s sister: “It was horrible. And she said it was one of her kids’ favorite dishes. Mine didn’t look anything like hers. I don’t know how that can be a favorite!”
My friend: “Huh.”
Flash forward several months.
My good friend’s sister: “You remember that spaghetti squash I said I made?”
My friend: “Yeah.”
My good friend’s sister: “Well, the rutabagas got put in the wrong spot at the store. It was a rutabaga I made, not spaghetti squash.”
Well, that explains that bad recipe experience! When I heard this story, I had not ever tried a rutabaga. I decided to do Rabbit (from Winnie the Pooh) homage and prepare some rutabaga! And for those that don’t know, that top photo shows a rutabaga, not a spaghetti squash. (Wink.)
1/4 cup oil of choice (bacon drippings are our favorite, but olive oil would work, too)
2-4 cloves roasted garlic, depending on size of cloves
Olive oil, a drizzle
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Get the garlic cloves a roasting! Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Leave the garlic cloves in their skins and just drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil to just moisten a bit in a small oven proof bowl, pan or ramekin. When the oven is preheated, shove the garlic in there while you prepare the rutabaga. Roast it about 10 minutes.
2. Wash and peel the outer skin of the rutabaga with a potato peeler. Wash and peel the carrot while you’re at it.
3. Chop the rutabaga into about 1-2 inch (2.54-5 cm) pieces. It’s easiest to cut it in half and then lay the cut half flat on the cutting board before attempting to cut the rest. On its flat side, it won’t move around on you so much. Taste some raw rutabaga out of curiosity. Mmm, okay. Not bad. Cut the carrot while you’re at the cutting board into circles about 1/2 inch (1.3cm) thick.
4. If you haven’t removed the roasted garlic already, do so! Set aside and let it cool while you steam the rutabaga and carrot.
5. Steam the rutabaga and carrot together until fork tender soft. (You could boil them, but the mash is too wet for my taste this way. I have one of those adjustable steamer baskets that fit into any pot size. I love it.)
6. Transfer the steamed, fork-tender rutabaga and carrot to a food processor.
7. Time for the garlic cloves. Make sure the garlic cloves aren’t too hot! Hopefully by now they’re not. Peel the skin off of the roasted garlic. Place the roasted garlic in the food processor, too. (I don’t cut off the little woody nub, but you could cut it off with kitchen shears if you want. My food processor blends it in really well.)
8. Add 1/4 cup of melted oil/fat of choice. (Again, we like bacon drippings best, but olive oil, tallow, palm shortening, lard, or butter would work well here.)
9. Blend until whipped in your food processor.
10. Serve warm as a side dish!.
Normally I give a family report as to how the rest of the family liked it. But everybody else had eaten and I was cooking for me! I liked them. They were soft and whipped nicely. Not as starchy as a potato or sweet potato. More FODMAP friendly than whipped cauliflower. A good side dish. Kids will be more likely to eat this if you read about Rabbit’s rutabagas in Winnie the Pooh. Or maybe when they ask what it is, blithely say, “Oh, some mashed carrots.” Know your crew to plan your tactics.
Give us YOUR best rutabaga treatment! And if you haven’t tried a rutabaga, throw one in your grocery cart next trip. It’ll keep a long time in your fridge until you get the energy and gumption to cook it up!
More in the “What Do You Do With That Vegetable?” series: