Rutabagas (or swedes, or yellow turnips) are a very underutilized root vegetable here in the US. Well to be fair it is probably underutilized in most parts of the world outside of the Scandinavian countries. Rutabagas also make for a fairly mean (I dare say down right scary) looking Jack-O-Lantern that pretty much puts any pumpkin to shame. As the picture below from the Ireland’s Museum of Country Life illustrates. Hard to believe such a sweet veg could make such a terrifying face.
Most European countries with colder climes make use of rutabagas (and many other cold weather Brassicas) in one way or another. Scotland is no exception and their most famous example would probably be “Neeps and Tatties” (neeps being rutabaga and tatties being potatoes of course). Good as it is, I rather prefer Orkney Clapshot, which is pretty much the same thing only mixed together. Maybe I just like the efficiency of the whole thing, one mound instead of two. Beyond efficient, I also think it is a good marriage of the Old World and the New. Old World rutabagas and New World Potatoes come together to make a slightly earthy, subtly sweet mash with just a little bite from the chives or green onions. That and it also has a pleasant yellow hue that nicely accents the golden brown color of a good sausage or a roast chicken.
- 1 lb boiled potatoes
- 1 lb boiled swede turnip, aka rutabaga, aka yellow turnip, aka neeps
- 2 T chopped chives or spring onion
- 2 oz. butter
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- Boil the potatoes and turnip separately (they cook at different rates). While both still hot mash together. Add chives or spring onion, butter and salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly and serve with more butter.