Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mashed Rutabagas Rock

I am lucky to work at a job inhabited by so many foodies.  And between the seasonal offerings of the kitchen to the everyday "water-cooler" conversation between co-workers that frequently gravitates towards food, it's an endless source of inspiration for me.  I'm constantly tearing off pieces of paper and scribbling down recipe ideas throughout the day.  Unfortunately, it's a double-edged sword, as my desire to cook and bake far exceeds the time and resources needed to follow through with it.  But alas, excessive inspiration, while annoying and certainly frustrating, is not a bad problem to have.  And on the bright side, since these recipes have usually been stuck in the gray matter for so long, when I finally find/make time to make them, I have a pretty clear idea of what I'd like to do.
Today's recipe is a great example of that.  A few weeks ago, I had mentioned to Lauren, a fellow GFDF canary at work, that I was going to make mashed sweet potatoes.  When she asked me if I'd ever mashed rutabagas, that stopped me in my tracks.  My first thought was, "What do rutabagas even taste like?"  These conversations always happen mid-task in the hustle and bustle of waiting tables, so as she walked away she yelled over her shoulder that I should try it.  And that was how the seed was planted.

Random recipe ideas stuffed into my server book

To answer my own question, rutabagas taste quite similar to parsnips or turnips with a sweetness not unlike that found in cabbage or broccoli.  It's not a surprise when you consider that rutabagas actually resulted from a cross between a cabbage and a turnip.  So the next question might be, "Why would I want to mash something that tastes like a combination of those things?"  And I have to admit that as I peeled and chopped the rutabagas, eating a sliver of it raw, I was curious with a dash of doubt.

But to say I was surprised would be an understatement.  Enamored might be closer.

So without further ado, here's Thanksgiving recipe #2.

Mashed Rutabagas
(GF, DF, V, rSF, SF)

2 lbs rutabagas
2/3 c unsweetened non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt, to taste

1.  Wash and peel the rutabagas.  Cut into quarters lengthwise and slice into pieces roughly 1/4" thick.
2.  Transfer rutabaga into a medium saucepan and cover with cold, filtered water and bring to a boil. 
3.  Boil for 8-12 minutes, or until fork tender.  You will notice the color of the rutabaga shifting from a pale to a bright yellow/orange.
4.  Strain cooked rutabaga and transfer to a food processor.  Of course, you can feel free to mash by hand or use a food mill or ricer.
5.  Warm unsweetened non-dairy milk and vegan butter. I used coconut milk beverage and a soy-free vegan butter.
6.  Turn the food processor on and gradually add the warm butter and milk mixture to the rutabagas.  Be sure to keep the food tube partially or fully open to allow for steam to escape.
7.  When all of the warm butter and milk mixture has been incorporated, add the apple cider vinegar and nutmeg.  Pulse until just combined.  Season with salt to taste if desired.
8.  Makes 4-6 servings.

Peel and chop.
Bright yellow after cooking.
No need to overmix - more "smashed" than mashed can be great.

I was honestly floored when I first tasted what I had made.  The tile of this post actually refers to a Twitter post I shared in that very moment.  I had loosely based this on an old favorite recipe for mashed potatoes from the dairy days, and it far exceeded any expectations I had, which is my favorite kind of surprise.  It had a wonderfully smooth texture, not unlike whipped potatoes, and the natural sweetness countered by the tang of the apple cider vinegar was smile-inducing.  I love my mashed potatoes, don't get me wrong, but I would happily eat mashed rutabagas in their place any time.  And just like the previous Thanksgiving recipe, this recipe is low in carbs, especially when compared to potatoes, making it a great option for both the food-sensitive and health conscious at your holiday gatherings this year.

Garnished with burnt shallots

Thank you, as always, for reading.  More Thanksgiving recipes on their way!


  1. This sounds great! Weird as it may sound, I really like rutabagas. The apple cider vinegar sounds like a great addition too.

  2. Not weird at all! Beyond this recipe, I'm coming to learn just how awesome rutabagas are. And not only delicious, but nutritious as well - my kind of food. :)

    Hope your Thanksgiving preparations are going well, Lisa!

  3. All roots and tubers rock! I always dream about making some celeriac mash and I think adding in some rutabaga would help cut the cost. Roasted anything tends to be good and mashing them up is even better sometimes. Imagine these mashed rutabagas in a 'bubble and squeak' dish!

  4. That would be delicious! I always laugh a little when I hear or say the word, "celeriac." It's like a mash-up (no pun intended) of "celiac" and "celery." What an odd combo, right?

  5. I always thought the name 'celeriac' was funny. It made me think of some celery root maniac gone on a rampage! In french you don't pronounce the 'c' at the end so it sounds like 'Sell-larry-ah' So it sounds even closer to 'celiac.' When I think about that term it makes me think of some Scottish person saying 'ohh thazzah seely akt!' while watching some ridiculous play. I don't know.... Anyhow, the main point is that celeriac and rutabags are awesome and we should enjoy all tubers thoroughly =)


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