This is winter comfort food, but hey, it’s been chilly recently, and these veggies are just such a nice foil for Sunday Rump Roast Beef with Onion Gravy. And Rutabaga is an underutilized veggie and this combination, rutabaga, carrots and parsnips are just better together. Rutabaga, the word, has it’s roots in Swedish. Rutabagas are root vegetables that are a cross between cabbage and turnips. They are called by various monikers—swedes, neeps, turnip or yellow turnip (not white turnips; they are different). They were part of our farm garden for many years. I remember helping my mother wax them. They are usually waxed to preserve them, so they must be peeled. They can be boiled, steamed and roasted and the tops are also edible, if you can find them with the tops on. They have their own specific flavor, but they lend themselves well to the addition of something on the sweet side—apples, pears, dried apricots, or other vegetables, like butternut squash, parsnips and carrots. You can add cinnamon, ginger, as well as my favorite spice for rutabaga, allspice. Also, apple juice and orange juice can be added at the end, to thin the mixture.
I added some heavy cream. My mother always did, but I didn’t honestly think it added much, except calories. Savor this moment. You may never hear The Goddess admit that heavy cream isn’t a life altering flavor experience. Therefore, I left the heavy cream out of the recipe; I used about 3 tablespoons here. I like to use powdered broth for things like this; it adds both flavor and salt, without adding too much liquid.
This is pretty simple. Dice the peeled vegetables into equal-sized dice. The carrots look “different”, right? They froze in my fridge. (Everything on the third shelf freezes, but the landlord won’t fix it because, the ‘fridge still works’.) But, for our purposes here, that doesn’t matter, because the carrots will be mashed up anyway. Place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the broth powder and water (or broth), spice and place over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cover. Cook until the parsnip and rutabaga are tender. The carrots will cook more quickly, but that’s fine. When the veggies are tender, remove them from the heat source, let stand for about 10 minutes, so they cool slightly. I usually put them through a ricer, but you can use an immersion blender, and mash/puree them; this will be very, very thick. Thin with additional broth, apple juice or orange juice. Taste and correct the salt and add some black pepper, if you wish. At this point, you may make up to 2 or 3 days ahead, and just reheat in the microwave or on top of the stove. Serve piping hot, dusted with grated Parmesan (I stirred the cheese in here), a pinch of pepper flakes and some coarsely crushed toasted walnuts.
I had some of the leftovers for an afternoon snack, and when was about four bites in, I had a bit of an epiphany…pomegranate molasses! Turned out, it was an enlightening experience…a really, really delicious one.
Rutabaga, Carrot and Parsnip Mash
- 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into large dice
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 large parsnip, cut into 1/2-inch slices (cut in half lengthwise, if the parsnip is large)
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth (or water and powdered base)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Additional broth, to loosen the mixture (I used about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
- Aleppo pepper flakes for garnish, if desired
- Shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired
- Toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped, if desired
Combine the vegetables in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Pour on the broth and sprinkle with allspice. Stir to combine. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until all the vegetables are very, very soft, about 40 minutes. If the veggies are extremely soft, you may be able to mash them or use an immersion blender. If not, put through a potato ricer. Return to the pot; add the broth and stir well to combine. Taste and add salt, if needed. Serve piping hot, garnished with a light sprinkle of Aleppo flakes, if desired. A dusting of Parmesan cheese and chopped, toasted walnuts, is also a nice option.
NOTE: If serving this with pork, adding some unsweetened applesauce (about 3/4 cup for this amount), then adding the additional broth bit by bit, until the mixture is the desired consistency. You may drizzle this with a flavorful olive oil, if you wish.
Rutabaga, Carrot and Parsnip Mash Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2019. All rights reserved.