The science of Rutabaga

There are many great things about dumpster diving. One of these is that sometimes you end up with veggies or fruits you never had on your plate before. Like today, when I went out with Marc dumpstering at the Ten Cate Market, we hit the jackpot with kilos and kilos of some food we had never seen before. And after cooking and eating it, I really wanted to know more about the delicious food I just had.

First the cooking. Contrary to what most think, preparing something without actually knowing what you're cutting isn't that hard. You just do it: boil or steam or frie and see how it comes out, add some herbs, a nice sauce and have it with some rice.

For today, I just cut it, fried it with some oil, added some courgettes for the added variety as well as some random herbs and prepared a rich tomatoe sauce (just add some union and red pepper and maybe some random herbs, terminate it, eat it raw or just boil it). The result was simply amazing for such an easy meal (total cooking time was less than 15 minutes), and makes me want to have more and try this veggie in all types of recipees.

After eating, I went into investigating what this (root-)veggie now actually is, and what you can do with it apart form having fun and investigating. Turns out it is a lost vegetable here. People stopped eating it because of the First World-War. It used to be the main diet for most of the people and after eating it on a daily basis they got so sick of it they now wanted to have something else, which resulted in a complete denial of the poor vegetable.

But, in Scandinavia and especially Finland it is among the most popular veggies. Can you believe that? Anyway, it is a great vegetable with many amazing recipees, and even a fan-webpage. And, although the ones that we dumsptered today are rather small, you can have it grown really, really large, as you can see on the photo above. Let's try to plant it as well on the rooftop!

And the name? Rutabage, part of the highly prized family of cruciferous vegetables.


narnua's picture

Rutagaba stew à la .fi

Uuuh, I guess I lost touch with this veggie some time ago, it actually IS the missing Finnish vegetarian dish and doubles as traditional Finnish X-mas cuisine as well!

Rutabaga stew (oven needed!)

2-3 lanttua (rutabagas)
4 dl vettä (water)
1 tl suolaa (teaspoons of salt)
nokare voita (some butter)
1 dl korppujauhoja (bread crumbs - there should be some left from last week)
n. 2 dl kermaa (about 2dl of cream)
0,5 tl inkivääriä (teaspoons of ginger)
0,3 tl valkopippuria (teaspoons of white pepper)
(noin 2 rkl siirappia) (table spoons of cyrup)
(1-2 kananmunaa tai keltuaista) (eggs or yolk)

pinnalle: (on top)
korppujauhoja (bread crumbs)
voinokareita (bits of butter)

Kuori ja viipaloi lantut. Keitä vähässä, suolalla maustetussa vedessä pehmeiksi vähintään 20 minuuttia. Siivilöi liemi talteen, soseuta lantut ja lisää nokare voita. Lisää 4 dl keitinlientä.

Sekoita korppujauhot ja kerma keskenään ja lisää survokseen. Mausta inkiväärillä, valkopippurilla ja halutessasi siirapilla ja kananmunilla tai keltuaisilla. Kaada survos voideltuun vuokaan ja painele pinta laineiseksi lusikalla. Ripottele pinnalle korppujauhoja ja muutama voinokare.

Paista noin 2 tuntia, ensin 200 asteessa. Pienennä lämpötilaa 150 asteeseen.
Peel and slice the rutabagas. Boil in salted water at least 20 minutes. Preserve the water, squash the rutabagas, add some butter. Add 4dl of the water

Mix the bread crumbs and cream and add into rutabaga+water mix. SPice with ginger, white pepper and, if you want, with cyrup and eggs / yolks. Pour it all into buttered container. Sprinkle some bread crumbs and butter drops on top.

Bake in the oven for 2 hours at 200C, then set it lower to 150C.
Tends to be enjoyed with stuff like "the same, only with carrots", "the same, only with potatoes", slices of ham, glühwein, gingerbread cookies, star-shaped pastries with marmelade in the middle and all the wine bottles & chocolate from all the relatives who didn't know what else to get you for Christmas.