Rutabagas are delicious. Especially this Rutabaga Puree with Brown Butter & Mascarpone. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. Because no matter what I say about rutabagas from here on out, they’re delicious. I love (and respect) them.
But you have to admit, rutabagas have a funny sounding, cartoonish name. The kind of name Elmer Fudd, Foghorn Leghorn or some other rascally Loony Tunes character might root-a-toot-toot about. So, you see, it’s easy to make fun of them. Besides, rutabagas are silly looking too. Really silly looking. I’m sorry but it’s true.
Let me tell you a funny story. I was in the market recently, checking out with just a few items. I hadn’t bothered to get a basket and was sorta balancing a few awkward items in my hands. Oh, and I had a great big rutabaga tucked under my arm too. When it came time to pay, the cashier pointed under my arm and asked, “What’s that?”
“A football”, I said. Well she laughed so hard she almost cried. At first I thought to myself, rather smugishly. “Gosh I’m funny”. Then I realized it wasn’t me that was so funny, she wasn’t laughing at me. It was the rutabaga that had tickled her funny bone so completely.
Take a look, it’s true– rutabagas are big ole monstrosities. The dirigibles of the veg world. The sheer audacity of their size, only adds to their irony. Because rutabagas aren’t just delicious and hilarious. Nope. Rutabagas are really, really cheap. Meaning not only do they get laughed at, these root-vegetable monsters are often relegated to filler, whose only purpose is to bulk up a casserole, or stretch out some watery soup. But I bet if you’d just stop laughing long enough to taste a rutabaga you’d root-a-toot-toot too! GREG
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, peeled & coarsely chopped
- 1 large rutabaga (about 2 pounds), peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 t coarse salt, plus more to taste
- 1 c chicken stock
- 1 pn freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 t fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
- 4 T mascarpone cheese
Heat a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter. As it begins to melt, start swirling the pan frequently and watching the butter carefully. You will notice the butter will get foamy, and then the milk solids will begin to brown. Once that starts, remove skillet from heat. Smell the butter; it should have a nutty aroma, and be caramel in color.
Add the shallots and rutabaga. Return the pan to medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Add stock and thyme leaves. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Purée vegetable mixture with mascarpone in a food processor until smooth. Season with pepper. Reheat if necessary. Garnish with more thyme leaves. Adapted from Martha Stewart Living.
Greg Henry writes the food blog Sippity Sup- Serious Fun Food, and contributes the Friday column on entertaining for The Back Burner at Key Ingredient. He’s active in the food blogging community, and a popular speaker at IFBC, Food Buzz Festival and Camp Blogaway. He’s led cooking demonstrations in Panama & Costa Rica, and has traveled as far and wide as Norway to promote culinary travel. He’s been featured in Food & Wine Magazine, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, The Today Show Online and Saveur’s Best of the Web. Greg also co-hosts The Table Set podcast which can be downloaded on iTunes or at Homefries Podcast Network.