Another thing I got from the farm that I had never tried before was rutabaga. My only familiarity with rutabagas was seeing a neglected one sit on our countertop for a few months in college. I wonder if my roommate ever ate it. I neglected the first one we got on my countertop, but it wasn’t as hardy as my roommate’s and it withered up pretty quick. So when we got another one, I put it in the fridge and I’ve been determined to do something with it. A google search showed me that mashing is the popular approach to rutabagas, although I found that you can also eat them raw and pan-fried. Although I was tempted to make one of my pasta sauces, I decided to go for the mash. Haven’t done that in a while.
You hardly need a recipe to mash a root vegetable. I diced it fairly small, so it would cook fast, and boiled it with salted water until it felt tender when I pierced it with a fork. In the meantime, I minced a clove of garlic and one of my little red peppers – it was like Return of Aglio (Olio) e Peperoncino. Just with butter instead of oil, which I let sit out while the rutabaga cooked so it would be a little soft when it came to mashing time. I had a little low-fat milk, but none of the stuff you should really use in a mash, so I decided to just skip that.
It mashed up fine and I added a little butter and then tasted it. Really quite delicious! I didn’t really expect to like it that much. But I figured I would get bored of it by the end if I didn’t go ahead and add my flavorings, so in they went. That was my downfall. Those peppers are just out of my tolerance zone. How can something so pretty be so evil? I think I got a lot tougher with spicy food in college, but these things are ridiculous. Breathing fire gets in the way of enjoying your food. I also think the garlic would have been better lightly cooked, which I kind of knew, but didn’t want to bother with since they were the only things I had to saute. But according to some websites, I’m less likely to get cancer because I ate raw garlic. Anyway, now I know: I like rutabaga. And I get to add something to my list of quick starch-based dinners: risotto, pasta, pizza, and mashed roots. Of course, I had made mashed potatoes (not real roots, but anyway) and mashed sweet potatoes before, but those always seemed a little trickier. This was super easy. I’ll just have to find something different to throw in next time.