There are a whole slew of ingredients I pass by at the grocery store and frequently think “I should buy that sometime and try eating it.” I’ve been meaning to create a food bucket list and try cooking all these ingredients (sunchokes, I’m looking at you). Remind me to do that later.
All this chitchat brings me to my point: rutabaga. It’s one of the items on the imaginary list of things I’ve been meaning to taste.
(This is the part of the story where my mom reads and says, “NOOOOO! Nooo! NOOOO!” Then she calls me up and probably tells me that I have in fact been served rutabaga as a child 50 million times, but refused to eat it (as did the rest of my siblings) and she was so hurt that she never made it ever again. She might even tell me that she cries about the rutabaga situation but I’ll have to let you know after she calls me)
(But, I’m pretty sure I never tasted it, which is why it’s on my list)
Flashback to a few weeks ago, I’m jogging on a treadmill at the gym trying to undo the amount of cheese I had consumed the previous night (which was too much even for a Wisconsinite like myself). I like to watch cooking shows while I’m stuck going nowhere (aka treadmillling aka dreadmilling) which may seem counterintuitive, but I find it to be the perfect way to keep my mind preoccupied. This particular day I happened to be watching Katherine Heigl on The Chew. She was helping prep a few Thanksgiving dishes and was sharing her family’s special rutabaga-carrot puree. The recipe was nothing more than boiled rutabagas and carrots mashed until smooth with cream and butter. Sounded lame, but everyone (including Katherine) raved about it. I was intrigued (or possibly delirious and dehydrated from the jogging).
Flash forward to my own Thanksgiving celebration where the very puree I had seen being made on TV made an appearance on our table this year. It was seriously the best and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. My dad referred to it as baby food, which might be partially accurate… but it’s really yummy baby food. It is the kind of baby food you serve at special holiday meals and the kind that everyone (dad included) adds to their plate.
The original recipe calls for heavy cream but I subbed in half and half. I think you could probably use milk too, but it’s a holiday so I had to live it up a little. Add this to your next holiday meal – you won’t be disappointed.
6C carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces (~2lb)
6C rutabaga, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ pieces (~2lb)
pinch of cayenne pepper
2/3C heavy cream*
Prep veggies and place in a large pot. Cover veggies with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Drain water. Mash using potato masher (or in the food processor). Add in salt, peppers, butter, and cream.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
*I made this using 1/3C half&half and 2T butter with delicious results. Feel free to substitute half&half for heavy cream or even regular milk will work. You could use nondairy milk and earth balance for a vegan variation.