Monday, February 28, 2011

Mashed Potatoes, Rutabega and Parsnips

 I love a good side dish and this is one of my favorites.  Although I will admit, I have many favorites.

A favorite side dish of a lot of people is mashed potatoes.  I have never understood why this dish is included at the Thanksgiving or Christmas table.  It seems like an everyday kind of dish.  But if you add root vegetables such as parsnips and rutabegas, then you are taking standard mashed potatoes to a whole new flavor level.  Rutabega, parsnips and a few potatoes mashed together to create something delicious.  This is not a creamy, smooth mashed potato type dish.  It is a chunky, smashed combination of root vegetables flavored very simply with garlic, salt and black pepper that give mashed potatoes a run for their flavor money! 

Did you know that rutabegas have lots of vitamin C?  It is a cross between turnips and cabbage and is sometimes called a yellow turnip.  It is believed to have originated in Sweden since it was found growing wild there. While I was looking into what this crazy looking thing really is, I found out it is commonly cooked with potatoes.  It seems rutabegas and potatoes are a natural pairing!
Parsnips and red potatoes.

Did you know that parsnips taste really good and are better than cooked carrots? (OK this is an opinion thing, I don't care for cooked carrots unless they are disguised in soup or meatloaf).  Parsnips are related to carrots and originated in Europe and Asia.  They are more nutrient dense than carrots which is interesting considering that vegetables with color usually tend to be more nutritious.

This side dish is really simple to prepare.  Peel, cut into pieces, cook in water, mash and season.  Done.
Potatoes, parsnips and rutabega in a cooking pot.

Where did I get this recipe?  I am not sure. I love roasted turnips and parsnips and wanted a different way to prepare them.   Give them a try and see what you think!  I have made other versions with onions and greens that were seriously good eats.

Red potatoes, rutabega and parsnips are the combination that I like best but feel free to use carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes or celery root.  The optional cream cheese bumps up the recipe to something more decadent for special occasions.  The amounts of butter and cream cheese can be increased if you would like but I think it is quite delicious as is.

Mashed Potatoes, Rutabega and Parsnips
7 to 8 servings

1 medium sized rutabega, peeled
2 large parsnips, peeled
4 medium sized red potatoes or your favorite mashing potato, no need to peel
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup of milk
3 ounces of cream cheese (optional)

Cut the rutabega and the parsnips into 1 inch size pieces.  The potatoes cook faster so they should be larger, up to 2 inches.  Place all root veggies in a large pot.  Cover with cold water that has had a teaspoon of salt added and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until done.  Test for doneness by piercing with a fork or knife to see if it slides in easily.  Meanwhile while the veggies are cooking, place butter in a sauce pan and heat over low until melted.  Place garlic in and saute, still over low heat for a minute or two.  Turn off the heat and set aside.

When done, drain the water from the vegetables.  Mash with a potato masher until the veggies are broken up into smaller pieces.  Add garlic infused butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, and milk starting with 1/4 cup (add cream cheese here if using).  Mash a bit more until mixed and taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste.  I leave mine chunky and the potatoes break down more than the parsnips and the rutabega.


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1 comment:

  1. I'm on this! I plan to try this sometime this week... I have parsnips, rutabaga, and potatoes all waiting to be used up! Thanks for the inspiration! :)


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