Refried swede with caramelized onions and bacon plus a gratin with goat’s cheese

February 13, 2011

Refried swedes with bacan

If vegetables were people swede would be the one that would never got any valentine cards. I’ve been running a box scheme for 8 years now and I can safely say that it’s one of the varieties most dreaded by people signing up to an organic delivery service. Some people love it of course but for most bad, bad memories of overcooked soggy orange mush served in times past (and still in urban Sunday carveries in times present) make it difficult to approach this variety with anything other than trepedation.

Well fear not, my first recipe this week this week is going to change your feelings about this humble variety forever. It has been a recent revelation and definitely puts swede on the cooking map for me. It turns out that swede goes really, really well with onions and bacon (let’s face it, doesn’t everything?) and by frying up little cubes with plenty of these until everything is crispy you have a dish that works a treat with roasts but can also stand alone with the addition of some goat’s cheese. Vegetarians can leave out the bacon and add more onions………

Refried swede with caramelized onions and bacon

You’ll need:

1 swede

2 medium onions


Olive olive

5 streaky rashers finely chopped

Begin by peeling your swede – it’s probably best to half and even quarter it before you attempt this. Now dice it up into little cubes. Bring to the boil,  simmer until tender then drain and set aside. While the swede is cooking, chop the  onions and start to sauté in about a tablespoon of butter and a dash of olive oil (this stops the butter burning) over a gentle heat until they start to darken and caramelize (about 15 minutes). Throw in  the bacon and continue cooking for another few minutes before adding the swede. Keep cooking adding a little more butter if necessary until everything starts to change colour and crisp up. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
As I said. you can serve this dish as is but if want to use it as a main I suggest topping it with rounds of goat’s cheese and placing the lot under the grill until golden.

Another approach is of course the gratin, always welcome at this time of the year…….

Swede gratin and green salad

Swede and potato gratin with goat’s cheese.

You’ll need:

500gr potato

500gr swede


150gr  goat’s cheese – the soft kind you get in a log

1 medium onion

150ml double cream

150ml milk


Peel and finely slice the potato and swede (celeriac can be substituted for either ingredient or a mix of the three works very well). Crumble the goat’s cheese and finely slice the onion. In a buttered gratin dish (about 25cm ox 25cm) layer the potato and swede, onions and goat’s cheese. Pour over the cream and milk seasoned with plenty of  salt (cream tends to sweeten things up quite a but), pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Cover and bake in a medium oven (gas mark 5) for 45 minutes then uncover and bake for a further 40 minutes or until the top is bubbling and golden brown. Eat with a simple green salad. Try this week’s rocket with a handful of walnuts.

There are also jerusalem artichokes (they’re those knobbly thingsyou’ve probably been wondering about) in all our bags this week. If you’re not sure what to do with them. Try panfried with bacon  or in a warm salad with smoked cheese and rocket or lambs lettuce  (there’s also a lovely soup recipe in that post too). Whatever you do don’t let them languish in a corner of your fridge because you’re not  familiar with them. They’re well worth checking out and all the recipes are quick.

4 Responses to “Refried swede with caramelized onions and bacon plus a gratin with goat’s cheese”

  1. aoifemc Says:

    Love the re-fried swede idea – definitely doing that this week!

    Do you have The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit? There’s a great story pre-ceeding the Artichoke section of that book about her, and ex-boyfriend and a creamy artichoke pasta bake.

    Also – are Jerusalem artichokes the same thing as Globe artichokes?

    • homeorganics Says:

      Noooooo! Flavourwise there is a resemblence but jerusalem artichokes are actually related to sunflowers. Globe artichokes are a summer variety. I’ve been randomly flicking through the Flavour Thesaurus for the last few months and really like it especially her stories. Her mention of jerusalem artichokes is a bit confusing as it’s under a globe artichoke heading on page 129 (love the story about lunch with the ex before that!). She says to pair them with potatoes and you can roast or panfry them up together. They also go really well with mushrooms, nuts, lemon and cream to name but a few.
      I’d say panfried is probably the easiest way to go and it gives you a good idea of the flavour (it’s quite unusual). Or….. they make very velvety soup. The best soup I ever had was a jerusalem artichoke veloute in Gordan Ramsey’s Claridges restaurant (one of the most gorgeous settings ever!!!) My salad recipe is basically the artichokes panfried with, lamb’s lettuce or rocket and some smoked cheese. I was just back from the Basque country when I came up with this one and used a smoked Idizabel which was beyond amazing but I don’t think you can get it here. Smoked Applewood does the job just fine. I really love this recipe. Nigel Slater loves them and there are plenty of ideas in Tender. Have fun but I should warn you they are notorious for wind! Ps there are links to the salad and soup recipes and more on the swede blogpost

  2. Maire Says:

    Everyone in my house HATES swede normally but we loved the refried recipe. Thank you and more swede please. Ps this week’s bag looks great

    • homeorganics Says:

      Hi Maire,
      It was pretty much the same at ours until I started cooking them this way. Now they can’t get enough. I will say one thing though, in my experience babies love swedes and I used lots both times with mine. Thanks for the feedback

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