Rutabaga Soup with Apples, Carrots and Linguiça

Rutabaga Soup With Linguica, Carrots and Apples

Winco had some impossibly low-priced linguiça that I picked up a few weeks ago and put in the freezer. I thawed it out for a soup, deciding to try it with a couple rutabagas. I was a bit leery because it was so incredibly cheap ($2.67 for 1 pound) but hoped for the best. Let’s just say that I will be buying it again. It was delicious and made a fabulous soup.

Okay, I started with 1 TBSP of olive oil in my soup pot and heated it on a low medium. I added 1 tsp of cumin powder and 1 tsp of cinnamon. While it heated, I chopped1 medium yellow onion, salt and pepper, and tossed it in, letting it sauté until tender. While it was cooking, I pelled a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger and shredded it. I then added 2 cloves of minced garlic and sautéed everything together. The aroma was heady. I added the linguiça and let it cook a bit, so it was browned before I added 1 quart of water and  turned the heat up to a simmer.

Now I peeled 2 carrots and 2 rutabaga and 1 apple and chopped them up into small pieces. I did not worry about regularity as I planned to puree the soup, but it would cook faster with smaller pieces. I added them all to the soup, tossed in some salt and pepper and let it cook until tender.

I removed the linguiça and set it aside. I let the soup cool down, coming back an hour later to puree the soup. An immersion blender works best, but I don’t have one, so I used my Magic Bullet. After it was pureed, I added back the linguiça that I had chopped into 1/2 inch long pieces. I reheated it using the microwave on low and added a dollop of sour cream for that hot-cold,  spicy-sweet and sour contrast.

I made a similar soup several times, but this has a different flavor profile with the cinnamon and the linguiça and is, I think, a better version.

Ginormous Rutabaga Lentil Soup

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I love a good lentil soup and make it frequently. I usually use a ham shank to add some depth to the flavor of the broth, but vegans can leave the ham shank out and make it vegan. It will still taste good. This batch, though, was the best ever thanks to the idea of adding a couple rutabaga.

So here’s the recipe.

Heat 1.5 TBSP of olive oil in your stew pot. Add some pepper and cumin to heat and infuse the oil.

Add 1 large yellow onion, chopped and let soften.

Then add 3 chopped carrots and 3 chopped celery and 4 diced garlic and saute.

Peel and chop two rutabaga and add, let all of this cook a bit.

This is when us carnivores can add the ham shank. Add a couple quarts of water and let simmer until veggies are tender.

Add one pound of lentils and cook until tender.

This is a rich and hearty soup and the rutabaga adds a tartness that is just incredible. It makes a huge pot of soup – about 8 to 10 bowls similar to the one in the picture.

Dragon’s Breath Sweet & Sour Pork

S&S Pork

 

This is significantly tastier than dragon’s breath, but it will add a touch of fire to your day. I was hankering for some sweet and sour pork, but I also had some parboiled rutabaga left over from salad fixings and some pitted cherries left from a chutney I had made and it occurred to me that they could work in a sweet and sour pork. They would add compatible flavors, at least. However, there was nothing at least about this dish. It was by far the most delicious sweet and sour pork I have ever made.

So, to start it off. I chopped half an onion and minced an inch of ginger and 1 serrano chile. I sautéed them in olive oil on a medium low heat with some salt and pepper. Meanwhile I chopped up 1/2 a red pepper. I had cleaned and cut up the pineapple yesterday, so it was in a container in the fridge. I parboiled rutabagas for salad 2 days ago and they were also in the fridge in a container. I added a pork loin chop (about 6 ounces) and let it cook with the onions, ginger and chile and added some salt and pepper. When it was browned on one side, I added the red pepper. I let cook for about 5 minutes and added 1/4 cup cherries and 1/4 cup of pineapple chunks and 1/4 cup of rutabaga and season with salt and pepper. I let them cook until warm. Then I added 2 tsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of white vinegar and stirred. Added salt and pepper to taste.

Please note that when you add salt and pepper at ever step of cooking, you are adding much less at one time. Seasoning step by step means you will avoid over or under seasoning.

I served over plain rice. This had all that sweet and sour pungency of the traditional dish, but the rutabaga and cherries added an earthiness and umami that made it simply out of this world. Frankly, it would taste delicious without the pork for a vegetarian entree.

 

Red Chard & Rutabaga Salad

Red Chard & Rutagbaga

This is a fairly easy and delicious salad, rich in flavor and texture. I started by peeling and cutting a few rutabaga into cubes and parboiling them. I cooked them until they became just fork tender, but still toothsome.  Straining off the water, I put the chunks in the fridge to cool, available for salad making. I used about 1/3 of what I had cooked in this salad.

I cut up two cups red chard leaves sliced into ribbons, added 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tsp of kosher salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil and massage the red chard until tender. I added 1 cup of the rutabaga chunks and 1/2 tsp of sumac. I then added 1/4 cup of chopped red onions. Stirring together I added the juice of half of a fresh lemon and put in a plastic bowl with a l id so there flavors could marry by sitting together for a few hours. After marinating, serve with a bit of pepper to taste.

Rutabaga responds to sumac like a fruit, developing an even richer flavor. The earthy chard, the bite of garlic and the fruity tang of rutabaga meld beautifully with the sumac, lemon and oil. This makes one large serving or two side servings.

 

Rutabaga, Carrot & Red Chard Salad

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This is a delicious “pickled” salad to make ahead as it takes several hours of marinating for the flavors to fully develop. It’s bright, beautiful, crispy, crunchy and flavorful. A perfect snack.

This salad came about when I was trying to think of a way to use the stems that are usually discarded when cooking with chard. I happened to be using red chard, but I assume other chards will work as well. I had removed the leaves for a soup and was looking at the bright, ruby red stems and thought it was pity we didn’t use the stems in some way as they are so beautiful. I sliced off a piece of the stem and tasted it and thought it had a unique and interesting flavor that would work well in salads – sort of halfway between an onion and a beet.

I took one rutabaga, two carrots, 1 red onion and the stems of 6 red chard as well as 1 lemon for this salad.

I peeled the carrots and cut them down into matchsticks about 2 inches long. I used the first cut of matchsticks as a guide so that I cut all the veggies to the same length.

I then peeled the rutabaga and cut it into matchsticks as well. When peeling a rutabaga, be sure to peel deeper than just the purplish out skin. If you look closely you can see that there is a slightly lighter layer on the outside of the rutabaga. When using rutabaga raw in salads, you want to cut that away as it is a little woody and not crispy like the inside of the rutabaga.

I cut the chard into 2 inch pieces and then made vertical slices to cut it into matchsticks as well. On the stems, I cut the very outer edge (slightly darker red) where the leaves met the stalk away and discarded that before cutting the matchsticks. It’s not that it tastes bad or has a bad texture, but I did not want any of the green from the leaves in the salad.

I ten chopped up a small red onion cutting the pieces to about the same width as the matchsticks. I stirred everything together in the storage container I would use to marinate the salad.

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Once I had all the veggies cut, I squeezed the juice of one fresh lemon over the veggies and added around 1 TBSP of walnut oil. Olive oil would work as well. I then added just a bit of salt and pepper and 1/4 tsp of cayenne. I put the lid on the container and shook it all up well and stored in the fridge. Whenever I walked past the fridge I turned the container over, letting the liquid run through from top to bottom again and again.

The next day, I tried it out and it was a success. The blend of veggies bring together sweetness from carrots, earthiness from rutabaga and a bit of tart and bitter from the chard. The bright flavor of the onions and the lemons just marry it all together. The cayenne adds heat and sweetness. Cayenne is a wonderful spice when used carefully. It can bring out the natural sweetness of veggies like carrots and rutabagas. It’s a crispy, crunchy salad which makes it a great snack food since we all love crunchy snacks. Makes 4 cups of salad.

Apple Rutabaga Slaw

Rutabaga Apple Slaw

This is a delicious, crunchy, crispy salad that’s full of flavor. To make it I peeled and chopped one rutabaga into small chunks. I also chopped up 4 cups of cabbage and 1/2 cup of red onion. I salted these lightly and let rest for 2 hours. Then I added 2 granny smith apples, the juice of one fresh lemon, 1 TBSP of walnut oil and 1/4 tsp of cayenne and a bit of pepper to taste.

Strong flavors from rutabaga, apples, onions and cayenne all provide earthiness, sweetness, and heat and are balanced beautifully by the cabbage. It’s even better the next day. This makes about 6 large servings.

Rutabaga & Pineapple Salad

Rutabaga & Pineapple Salad

The idea for this salad came to me while I was coring a fresh pineapple yesterday. The bromelain in the pineapple did such a good job of macerating the skin on my thumb it occurred to me that it might tenderize a rutabaga (swede) as well. Well, that turned out not to be true as bromelain breaks down proteins not cellulose. I produced a delicious salad, but it was not quite right. The pineapple did not break down the rutabaga enough, but the delicious zest of raw rutabaga blended so well with the sweet tang of pineapple I had to try it again. I considered parboiling, but was afraid I would lose that subtle spiciness of raw rutabaga. So, I tried salt which is often used to tenderize vegetables such as cabbage and kale. It worked perfectly.

I took one rutabaga, peeled it (not just the thin colored peel but that 1/4 inch of thicker sort of rind) and diced it into small cubes. I put it in a plastic container with a lid and sprinkled about 2 tsp of salt on it. I shook it a few times and let it sit overnight to soften. I shook a few times, just whenever I happened to walk by the fridge. By morning it was tender, but still with the crunch and the delicious raw flavor. I put the rutabaga in a strainer and rinsed the salt away.

Putting it back in the container, I added 1/4 cup of chopped leek greens and 2 TBSP of chopped parsley. I added about 1 cup of fresh pineapple cut in small pieces. I mashed the pineapple lightly with a force to express some of the juice since that is the only dressing on this salad. I added just a touch of salt. Then I let it rest for an hour for the flavors to marry.

This makes 4 servings of salad. It’s got a satisfying crunchiness and the flavors are intense with the rutabaga’s heat, the sweet and tangy pineapple, the bright onions and the mellow earthiness of parsley blending into a rich, multi-layered flavor. The only downside I can see tot his salad is that it could get addicting and that would mean coring and cleaning more pineapples.

Parsnip-Rutabaga Soup with Andouille Sausage

Rutabaga Parsnip Soup

This was a delicious and successful experiment. I have been thinking rutabagas might make a tasty soup but was not sure how to approach them. I decided to give it a try today.

I added 1/2 TBSP of olive oil to my soup pot and put it on medium heat. I then added about 3 TBSP of onions and the tiniest pinch of anise seed – about 10 seeds in all. I cooked until tender and then added two chicken andouille sausages. I know that is not authentic, but it is delicious. I browned the sausages slightly. While they were browning, I peeled and chopped into 1/2 bites 1 rutabaga, 1 parsnip, 1 carrot and 1 potato. I figured I needed the sweetness of the carrot and the mildness of the potato to balance out the tartness of the rutabaga and parsnip. I added enough water to cover everything and set simmer about 30 minutes or so until they were all tender. I removed the sausage and let the soup cool enough for me to blend it in my magic bullet. I pureed the soup, cut the sausages into 5 pieces each and put them back in the soup.

This made two large bowls of soup that was a bit spicy, a bit tart and totally delicious.

Roasted Rutabaga Stuffed with Garlic and Shallots

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I peeled a rutabaga and after finding the side that it balanced on best, I cut thin slices horizontally without cutting down to the bottom. An easy way to make sure you don’t cut too deep is to put a chop stick in front and behind what you cut, so the knife is blocked by the chopstick and does not cut through.  I peeled and squashed several cloves of garlic with the flat of the knife and peeled and sliced a small bulb of a shallot. I put the garlic and the shallots slices in alternating gaps in the rutabaga. I then brushed with some olive oil, added some salt and pepper. Wrapping it in foil, I let it bake at 400° for 35 minutes before taking it out and letting it cook another 15 minutes to get a nice golden color.  It’s delicious and very easy to make. Roasted garlic and onions with any veggie is a delight.

 

 

Rosemary Vegetable Medley

Tenderloin

You will get several meals from this prep, but you can roast them one meal at a time and store the prepped veggies in a container in your fridge. The trick is to cut everything pretty close to the same size.  For this batch I peeled and cut to 3/4 inch cubes the following vegetables. Not all are root vegetables, but they work well with the root vegetables. I would have included carrots, but served carrot soup with this meal and did not want to add more carrots to the meal.

  • 2 small turnips. New seasons had a new varietal that was uncommonly small. 
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 yams
  • 8 fingerling potatoes
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 small pumpkin

Generally the goal was to get about equal portions of each vegetable. I then took a whole garlic and peeled and separated all the clover and tossed them in as well. I sprinkle with about 2 TBSP of kosher salt more or less and 2-3 TBSP of olive oil and a spring of rosemary, removing all the leaves and chopping into 1/4 long pieces. With my hands, I mixed all the salt, oil and rosemary into the veggies to make sure they were completely covered. I put in a plastic storage bowl and let marinate overnight. I laid a few servings down as the bed for my roast and let cook at 300° while the roast cooked. After removing the roast, I increased the oven to 450° and let cook until the vegetables began to caramelize.

This makes about 12 servings of vegetables, so I only roast one serving at a time. To roast them without the meat, just spread in a pan and roast at 450° for about 20 minutes. You can also boil and mash for a lush puree.