Tuesday 29 January 2013

Gingered Rutabagas

One of my very favourite cookbooks is "Greene on Greens" by Bert Greene.  Besides giving lots of interesting and unusual vegetable recipes, the narrative is entertaining.  I've learned a lot from that book, and gained a few good chuckles from Mr. Greene's anecdotes.

This recipe comes from "Greene on Greens."  I first tried it on a cold, grey winter's day not unlike this one.  I was bored out of my mind with the usual limited selection of winter vegetables, and the bright, peppery taste of the ginger appealed to me.

Mr. Greene's recipe called for a little rum at the end but, since we don't keep it in the house, I left it out.  It turned out great anyway.  I've made it many times since that first dish, and enjoyed it every time. 

To make gingered rutabaga, you'll need:

  • 1 smallish rutabaga (about 1 pound when trimmed and cubed)
  • 1 cup Jamaican style ginger beer (The original recipe called for ginger ale but I prefer the stronger flavour the ginger beer brings to the dish.)
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

Peel the rutabaga and cut it into 1-inch cubes. 

Put the cubed rutabaga in a medium size saucepan and add in the ginger beer and cloves.

Bring the pot to a boil, cover it, and reduce the heat to a low boil.  Cook the rutabagas about 20 minutes, until fork tender. 

Remove the lid from the pot and turn the heat back up.  Continue boiling until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in the butter and ginger.  Return it to the heat for just a couple of minutes, gently stirring the mixture, so that the butter mixes with the remaining pan juices and coats the rutabaga pieces.

Serve immediately.

Cook's note:
I sometimes make these ahead and then roast the cooked rutabaga.  It caramelizes nicely and makes an excellent accompaniment to a roast dinner.