Thursday, December 11, 2008

Golden Rutabagas and Shallots

Poor rutabaga - I feel like this humble winter vegetable gets such a bad reputation. This cross between a cabbage and a turnip originated in Sweden (and is known as 'Swede' in the UK!), but actually only got a bad name during World War I when it was a "last resort" food for soldiers. Before that, it was a staple source of nutrition prior to the potato, and was the original Jack o' Lantern before people started carving pumpkins!

Anyway, here's a yummy way to eat it.

Place 5 cups (peeled and one-inch cubed) rutabaga in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until tender. (Note: It's much easier to peel rutabaga with a knife than with a vegetable peeler, because the skins are thick and tough).

While the rutabaga cooks, peel and halve 12 shallots. Melt a tablespoon of vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute 2 minutes.

Add one cup vegetable broth, 1/2 cup Madeira (a fortified Portuguese wine), 2 tablespoons agave nectar (in place of honey) and 1/4 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid reduces to about 1/2 a cup.

Drain the rutabaga, and add to the skillet along with 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme and a dash of black pepper. Toss gently to combine.

3/4 cup is a side-serving of 130 calories.

A note on the Madeira: the same rules of filtration apply as with all wines - the product itself is vegan, but animal matter may be used in the filtration process. Look for organic Madeira or ask a knowledgeable salesperson about a particular brand's filtration methods.

rutabaga $2.07
shallots $3.07
vegetable broth $2.69
Madeira wine $12.99
agave nectar $3.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance