December 2, 2009
March 13, 2009
If vegetables were people swede is the one that would never get 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 puree 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 smallish slices 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
2 medium onions
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, slice it into pieces about 2-3cm square. 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 a 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 and Potato Gratin with Goat’s Cheese.
125gr. goat’s cheese
1 medium onion
150ml double cream
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 salt, pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Cover and bake in a medium oven (gas mark 5) for 30 minutes then uncover and bake for a further 30 minutes or until the top is bubbling and golden brown. Eat with a simple green salad.
For greens try Rocket. You can use it in all kinds of salads (Walnuts and Goat’s Cheese are fab with it)
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 http://wp.me/p7YZu-na or in a warm salad with smoked cheese and rocket http://wp.me/p7YZu-de (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 no familiar with them. They’re well worth checking out and all the recipes are quick.