Photo: Kelly Rossiter
My dad was a meat and potatoes kind of a guy. There were a few vegetables he would eat, but not many. He did, however, like rutabagas. Of course, this may have been because my mother served them mashed, with butter and brown sugar mixed in, and then covered with beef gravy from the roast we ate every Sunday. From November to March every year we had rutabagas served that same way every week. In fact, I was married and had children before I fully understood that you could actually have rutabagas served any other way.
The truth is, rutabagas are quite tasty, and there are lots of things you can do with them that don't involve boiling and mashing them. This recipe for rutabaga hash is from the cookbook "Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 recipes" by Diane Morgan. This recipe isn't going to win any food styling competitions, but it's a terrific, easy, one-pot meal with lots of flavor. (And check out this post to learn more about root vegetables.)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 4-6 servings
- 6 slices bacon, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 2 pounds rutabagas, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 ribs celery, halved lengthwise, then cut into slices
- 1 chili jalapeno
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- Splash Tabasco or other hot-pepper sauce for serving
- In a 12-inch frying pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Pour off all but 1/4 cup of the fat from the pan. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the rutabagas and onion, and saute, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring once, for 7 minutes to steam the rutabagas. Uncover the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until the vegetables are browned at the edges, about 1 minute longer.
- Add the celery and the chili, stir briefly, and then cover and cook for 3 minutes longer. Uncover the pan and add the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rutabagas are fork-tender and the celery is crisp but not raw tasting. Fold in the cilantro and bacon. Serve immediately, garnished with additional cilantro. Pass the hot-pepper sauce at the table.