Talkin’ Swede (Part 2) – Get in my Belly

Talkin’ Swede (Part 2) – Get in my Belly

Feasting on Neeps…
We’ll dispense with all that background stuff from earlier and just get to the goods today. (Head back THIS WAY if you didnt read PART 1) And, while there are a lot of tasty, ingenious ways to prepare swede out there on the internettyweb-o-matic thingy, not everyone is going to be all that keen on eating Neep Crostini, or Candied Swede, or Rutabaga Sorbet…

Although, Jane did inadvertently make a Rutabaga Pie quite by accident a couple of Thanksgivings ago when she  reached for the pureed butternut squash and snagged the  mashed rutabagas instead…

…it was god-awful. You can read all about it at Bad Pie, Harbinger of Death in a Crust.

No, Today were going to concentrate on good things on happy memories and good things to eat.

First up – The Basics.
The easiest way to introduce yourself to swede is the  way it comes in a can – diced and simmered…. only better than a can, you know.

Swede with Butter and Parsley
Serves 4 to 6
1 Rutabaga
3 Cups Water
2 Tablespoons Butter (or suitable substitute)
1 to 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt (Depending on your particular sodium load)
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Parsley
Large Sauce Pan

Peel, cut the swede into 1/2″ slices and then into 1/2″ cubes
Place in the pot with the water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil
Reduce to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes
Drain and toss with butter and the chopped parsley

Now, once you’ve gotten to this step, you can serve them up like this – of course, but cooked neeps can be substituted for any place you can or would use potatoes…

Toss Them in your Favorite Scalloped Potato Recipe
Use them instead of macaroni in your Mom’s cherished Mac n Cheese
Add them to cooked orzo and fold in some raisins and pine nuts for a pleasing side dish.

They don’t have to be precooked in order to utilize them. Feel free to add them to your favorite stew, instead of turnips in your pot roast, or added to your favorite New England Style Boil Dinner

Or, instead of mashed Potatoes…

Winter Vegetable Mash

Serves 4 to 6
1/2 Rutabaga (Peeled and Diced)
1 Large Carrot (Peeled and Diced)
1 Cup Diced Sweet Potato
1 Clove Garlic
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
3 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Butter
Large Sauce Pan
Large Mixing Bowl
Food Mill

As with the simple swede, place the swede, carrots, sweet potato, garlic and stock in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil
Reduce to medium low and skim off the flotsam that rises to the top
Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and simmer for 20 minutes… or until the swede is fork tender
Drain and pass through a food mill in the mixing bowl to remove the additional fibrous bits
Add the cream and butter and fold in to the mash
Taste and adjust for salt

Or.. Instead of French Fries

Salt and Vinegar
Swede Fries
A typical swede will yield around 4 dozen fries. I suggest doing them in smaller curing batches to insure an even coating while they marinate.
1 Rutabaga (Peeled and cut into 1/2″ Slices)
2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Sugar
1/4 Cup Oil
Paper Towels
Baking Sheet
Large Zipper Bag
Mixing Bowl
Kosher Salt for Finishing

Peel the swede and cut into 1/2″ rounds
Cut each of the rounds into 1/2″ sticks – set aside
In the zipper bag, add all the remaining ingredients – except the oil – and mix well
Add the swede sticks to the marinade and allow to cure in the fridge overnight. Rutabagas are a dense, dense root vegetable – they are going to need considerable time in order to get the flavors in.

When you are ready for fries:

Preheat the over to 425
Remove the fries from the marinade and dry on paper towels
Toss the fries  in the oil to get an even coating and place in a single layer on the baking sheet
Bake at 425 for 45 minutes; turning the fries over 1/2 way through the baking
Drain the cooked fried briefly on paper towels to remove any excess oil and sprinkle with kosher salt

Or, as a smashing substitute for slaw with some killer BBQ:

Swede Salad
Serves 4
1/2 Swede
2 Medium (ish) Carrots
5 Radishes

1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Minced Shallot
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
Large Mixing Bowl
Zipper Bag
Spring Greens (enough for 4)

  • Prepare the dressing in a small bowl by whisking together all the dressing ingredients – set aside
  • With the mandoline, thinly slice each the swede, carrots and radish
  • Cut each in to julienne strips
  • Place the carrots and swede in the zipper bag and Micro on high for 45 seconds (you really want to soften each of these up slightly so they will take on the dressing. Yes – you can steam the lightly, but the micro will be quicker, less messy in the long run)
  • Add the redish, and steamed vegetables to the dressing and coat well
  • Chill for 30 minutes
  • Create 4 salad plates with the spring greens and top each with approximately a cup of the swede salad

2 thoughts on “Talkin’ Swede (Part 2) – Get in my Belly

  1. Phong, All the things that make it wonderful as a vegetable – don't really translate into something wonderful when combined with eggs and sugar – it really had an odd funk.

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