June 23, 2012

Rutabaga Dijonnaise

Rutabaga has been on my list of possible new veggies to try since the very beginning. Somehow I have managed to shy away from it for this long, because it is a relative of the dreaded Turnip! Growing up, I absolutely hated everything about turnips - the smell, the texture, the flavor. I missed Norman's Farmers Market this weekend due to prior commitments and a special trip to Whole Foods Market. So, I decided that I needed to find something at WFM to satisfy my New Veggie Quest .... and lo & behold .. a big pile of Rutabaga was staring me in the face. And so, Rutabaga became New Veggie #34.

Once home, I started at it for a while and then decided that I had no clue where to start. I sat down with my laptop and found a recipe that seemed really interesting - Rutabaga Dijonnaise with Caramelized Onions. I had all the ingredients at home and this was a simple enough recipe, to which I made just a few minor modifications, including withholding any oil/fats.

Prep Time: 20 min

  1. 2 medium Rutabaga
  2. 6 small Red Potatoes
  3. 2-3 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  4. 1 medium Red Onion, julienned
  5. 1/4 tsp Red Chili pepper
  6. Salt and Pepper, to taste.
  7. 1-2 tsp fresh Thyme leaves

Wash the rutabaga under running tap water to remove any dirt on the outside. Then using a vegetable peeler remove the skin and cut off the ends to reveal the clean white flesh.

Cut slices and dice into large chunks for faster cooking.

Rinse the red potatoes under tap water, remove the 'eyes' using a sharp paring knife and dice. 

Wash both vegetables once more, drain and transfer to a deep stock pot, or a pressure cooker. I used a pressure cooker today. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup water (will not cover vegetables) and steam until full pressure is achieved. Remove from heat, and allow the pressure cooker to release steam on its own. 

Meanwhile, line a skillet with water and add the julienned red onion. Add a pinch of salt.

Once the water evaporates, the onions will start to caramelize. Add a splash or two of water as needed and caramelize the onions until they turn a rich golden brown color (a non-stick pan helps for this step!).

Once onions are caramelized, add the red chili pepper powder, mix well, add another splash of water, if needed to mix the spice with the onions and then transfer to a small dish and set aside. Once the pressure cooker releases steam, open and drain any excess water by pouring almost all of it out. If you want, you can save it for later to use as a vegetable stock. Using an immersion (stick) blender, puree the vegetables, mix in 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Do a quick taste check and add more mustard, to taste. Add almost all the thyme leaves (save some for a garnish) and serve with a dollop of Spicy Caramelized Onions and a sprinkle of fresh thyme!

Rutabaga Dijonnaise with Spicy Caramelized Onions
My Assessment: I absolutely LOVED this dish today!! I was fully expecting to hate the taste of it given my lack of affection for turnips but the mustard must add something to it. I ate 2 bowls full and would have eaten more if I hadn't stopped myself. The texture was creamy (without any added butter or milk, not even non-dairy milk). The flavors were amazing. I loved the spicy caramelized onions with it as well!! Awesome!!!

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