Swede, or rutabaga as our American cousins call it, is perhaps the most vexing of root vegetables. It has a reputation for being a large, round and bland veggie that isn’t good for anything other than mash.
But I think swede has been drastically misunderstood. From the outside it may look like a rather boring rotund vegetable. However, in my humble opinion, it is deceivingly versatile and flavourful. It provides a wonderful addition to the autumn and winter dinner plate.
The problem is many resources online seem to reference the only way to enjoy swede is by boiling or roasting it. Suggesting enjoying the vegetable on its own is the best way to eat it. I disagree – I think swede’s strength is its ability to offer texture and depth to dishes.
Once I started to think of swede in this way I embraced the wonderful root as a seasonal saviour to the winter palate. Take some of the following examples of how great swede can be.
Swede can be used as the base for sauces, providing a silky and flavoursome alternative to thickeners like coconut milk or cream. Simply cook the swede in the recipe broth or stock and then blend. The result will be a wonderfully rich and thick sauce. Just look at my jungle curry recipe as an example.
Swede can also offer a crunchy bite to a dish. Cubed and glazed with a sticky sauce and pan fried it provides a texture and taste not dissimilar to fried tofu. Just check out my peanut glazed swede recipe to see what I’m talking about.
So embrace swede with both arms, and give it the love it deserves. This humble root vegetable has been relegated to the bottom shelf for too long. What follows is a list of my favourite swede recipes from the site. I personally cook these on a regular occasion and hope you love them every bit as much as I do.
Long live swede!