Rutabaga: Hi Ginger.
Ginger: Hi Rutabaga. How are you?
Rutabaga: Feeling kind of down. I am not very pretty.
Ginger: Me neither.
Rutabaga: I am not very social either. I think it’s because I spent most of my life with my head underground.
Ginger: Hey…. me too!
Rutabaga: Wow. Uh… want to have dinner together sometime?
In the last post, I challenged you all to buy and cook with something you have never tried before. My answer to the challenge was a virgin rutabaga purchase. I am sure I have eaten them at some time in my life but had never had one in my own kitchen. It is no surprise that they aren’t the most popular vegetable. They are sort of an awkward size, bigger than a grapefruit but smaller than a cantelope, and they aren’t much to look it. For all these reasons, it became all the more appealing to me so I could try to turn the ugly duckling into a swan!
I usually love mashed and pureed root vegetables so I decided to mash my first rutabaga. And, for some reason, perhaps I read it somewhere, it seemed like a good idea to put it together with ginger and orange. The ginger was sliced and placed in boiling water with peeled rutabaga chunks to give it a nice aroma. After draining the chunks of rutabaga and removing the ginger, I hand mashed them with olive oil and the juice of half an orange. Finally, the mash was liberally salted and peppered and placed under slices of broiled flank steak. (The steak was been rubbed with diced garlic and ginger and drizzled with olive oil.)
The steak was delicious. The rutabaga mash… um… well…I WANTED to love it. Really, I did. But, I suppose the truth is that not every food experience can be an epiphany. I liked the ginger and orange in the mash but I think it could have used some potatoes mixed in for consistency. In the end, I wish that rutabaga was as fun to eat as the word rutabaga is to say.