Recipes for Shabbat
By Eileen Goltz
Every now and then I get a request for recipes for an ingredient that makes me stop and say, hummmm, since I'm not particularly fond (hate, but I was being polite) of that ingredient don't know if I have any. (Contrary to popular belief my recipe file is not without its occasionally gaps.) While it doesn't happen often, the latest requests for rutabaga and parsnip recipes had me scrambling to find recipes that used these root vegetables as a main ingredient.
A rutabaga is a member the cabbage-family (yes, it can cause gas) and resembles the turnip. In fact, is thought to be a cross between a cabbage and turnip. Rutabagas are larger, sweeter and more tan in color than turnips. Like other root vegetables, rutabagas are available in the fall and are believed to play a role in cancer prevention.
Rutabagas have a thin, pale yellow skin and a slightly sweet, firm flesh of the same color. You should look for a rutabaga that is smooth, firm and heavy for their size. They can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 4 weeks. Rutabagas are a good source of vitamins A and C, and some minerals including calcium that we never seem to get enough of during the winter months. Make sure you scrub them before cooking, but for maximum nutrition do not peel. Rutabagas can be steamed (30-35 minutes for 1 inch chunks), boiled (20-25 minutes for 1 inch chunks), baked (40-50 minutes at 400 degrees), or eaten raw.
The parsnip is slightly more popular than the turnip. It's often used in soups and casseroles to add as sweet earthy flavor. Europeans brought the parsnip to the United States in the early 1600s and it has been a winter vegetable staple ever since. The reason the parsnip is considered a "fall vegetable" is that the first frost of the year converts the parsnip's starch to sugar. This sugar is what gives the parsnip their distinct flavor. Fresh parsnips are available year-round with the peak period during fall and winter. Look for small to medium, well-shaped roots; avoid limp, shriveled or spotted parsnips. They can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to 2 weeks. You can use almost any method of cooking including, boiling, sautéing and steaming for the parsnip.
What I discovered in my searching and testing and
tastings was that there are lots and lots of ways to prepare these
cruciferous and/or root veggies that turn them into mouth watering, tongue
tingling dishes that are really quite delicious. These recipes that use
parsnips and rutabagas will help you make any fall or winter meal a meal to
Preheat oven to 325. Cook the parsnips in boiling
salted water for 10 minutes or until they are tender. Drain well and mash.
Add the egg, butter, nutmeg and pepper; stir well. Spoon the parsnip mixture
into an ungreased 1 qt. casserole dish. Sprinkle top evenly with toasted
almonds. Bake for 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings
Sauté the onion in the oil in a 1 1/2 quart pot for 5
to 8 minutes until it is golden but not browned. Add the cumin, chili,
turmeric, and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the water, salt,
and parsnips. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat
for 20 to 30 minutes until vegetable is tender but not mushy. The sauce will
become quite thick. Serve hot and garnish with pepper strips and peanuts
before serving. Serves 4 to 6.
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix everything
together and season to taste. Pour the mixture into a shallow ungreased 9X13
baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 15
minutes until the top becomes crisp and brown. Serves 4. This recipe can be
doubled or tripled.
In a skillet sauté the onion and garlic in the oil.
Add the cumin, cardamom, coriander turmeric and ginger and cook for 2 or 3
minutes, stirring constantly. Add the parsnips and stock and simmer gently
until tender, about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes. Puree the soup in batches and
serve hot. Serves 6 to 8.
Preheat oven to 375. In a bowl toss the turnips and
the onion with the cornstarch, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, and salt and pepper
to taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 9-inch square dish, patting it
down. Drizzle the cream evenly over the mixture, sprinkle the mixture with
the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan, and bake the gratin in the middle of
the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden. Serves 2 This
recipe can be doubled or tripled.
Butter 13 x 9x2-inch glass baking dish. Combine the
broth, potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, cloves, bay leaf, and thyme in large
pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer
until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well. Transfer
vegetables to large bowl. Add 1/2 cup butter. Using electric mixer, beat
mixture until mashed but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer
mashed vegetables to prepared dish. Melt remaining 1/4 cup margarine in
heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions and sauté until
beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté
until onions are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt
and pepper. Spread onions evenly over mashed vegetables. (Casserole can be
prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Preheat oven to 375.
Bake casserole uncovered until heated through and top begins to crisp, about
25 minutes. Serves 8 to 10.
Please note: Curly leaf parsley is very difficult to check. It is
therefore recommended that only flat leaf parsley be used.
In a microwaveable safe dish, place the parsnips,
carrots and rutabaga. Add 1/2 inch of water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap
and microwave 4 minutes. (You can also steam the vegetables over boiling
water for 6 minutes), until they are about half cooked. Preheat the oven to
375. Drain the vegetables and toss them with the thyme, olive oil, lemon
juice, pepper and salt. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; spread the
vegetables out on the baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes or until
caramelized and tender. 8 servings.
Heat the oil in a large stock pot over a medium to low heat. Add leek, celery and garlic and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the turnips, rutabagas, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes with juices and 3 1/2 to 4 cups broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup to processor or blender. Puree until almost smooth. Return the puree to pot. Add remaining broth the combined soup and puree. Mix well and then bring the soup to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
© Eileen Goltz 2003