Sunday, February 28, 2010

From Our Kitchen to Yours: Mashed Rutabaga and Apples with Sauteed Onions

Have you ever seen a rutabaga at the grocery store and wondered what to do with it? (I think that a rutabaga is one of the ugliest vegetables, so we dressed it up a bit using pieces of garnish and made it feel special on a cake stand.)

If rutabaga is new to you, consider giving the following recipe a try. It pairs well with a fontina-stuffed chicken breast and side salad.

Mashed Rutabaga and Apples with Sauteed Onions
The recipe can be found in Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop; I use this cookbook a lot to go with our theme of trying to eat more vegetables.

1 large rutabaga (about 2 pounds)
Salt, to taste
1 medium sweet apple, peeled, quartered, and cored
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola or other tasteless oil
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thin
1/4 cup milk or half-and-half, warmed

To prepare the rutabaga, peel and cut into 1-inch chunks. Make sure to use extra caution when cutting a rutabaga. It is very dangerous since it is very difficult to cut through using even a sharp knife.

Place rutabaga chunks in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 2 inches. Add a generous amount of salt and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat a bit and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the apple and continue cooking until the rutabaga and apple are very tender, 10 to 15 minutes. While the rutabaga is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Cover and keep warm.

When the rutabaga and apple are tender, drain them well. Return them to the empty saucepan set over low heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and use a potato masher to turn the rutabaga into fine bits.

Stir in the milk with a wooden spoon and add salt to taste. Transfer the mashed rutabaga and apple to a serving bowl. Top with the onions and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings as a side dish.

For the chicken, bake or roast however you prefer to cook chicken breasts. Just when they are finished cooking to the required temperature, cut a small slit in the side and insert a slice of fontina cheese. Return to oven for just a few minutes until it melts and then serve.

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