We’ve had a little focus on Swedes and Turnips last Winter, as we realised that we were not appreciating these underrated vegetables enough. It is Spring as I write, but swedes, turnips and parsnips are still in the green grocers, and the weather is cold. So we decided to add a gratin to our list of recipes for these Wintery roots.
Some of the quickest and really good spicy dishes from India are those that take a vegetable or two and stir fry them with a few spices. These subzi dishes are wonderful side dishes, or make a simple lunch or supper served with rice or Indian flatbread.
Many of our Winter root vegetables are not as common in India, and most uses of them take existing recipes and replace the vegetable (e.g. carrot) with turnip, swede, parsnip, etc. As the Indian diaspora settles around the world, and as European and American vegetables make greater appearances in India, this will change over time.
This recipe takes a bunch of Winter vegetables and magics them into a subzi. Turnip, Swede and Cauliflower are used. Mixed with onions and spices, it makes a curry worthy of Winter. For freshness, scatter loads of coriander on top and finish with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Swede – the unloved vegetable on the green grocer’s shelves. We are on a mission to show that this vegetable deserves as much love as other Winter vegetables. Known also as rutabega, a fancy name for sure, it is often mistaken for turnip, but turnip is a completely different beast.
The turnip is sophisticated, while the swede is common and a bit bogan. Turnips are white with purple tops, crisp and slightly bitter. They are perfect eaten raw in salads or as snacks, and are delightful if cooked but still retain some crunch. The swede is pretty unusual in that it’s yellow, less bitter than its sister vegetable, turnip, and some will say that they are sweeter. They have been described as strongly flavoured but today’s swede tastes a little of turnip and a little of apple. They can also be eaten raw in salads, or, more commonly, are cooked.
This is a salad where Swede is used raw and mixed with Fennel and tart Apple. It is a salad that really celebrates winter vegetables. You will love it. I have given you two forms – the first is a crunchy salad, and the second option is to add some yoghurt and pine nuts. Both are great.
This is a great Winter salad, a great accompaniment to hot Wintery dishes, and healthy as well. Winter root vegetables are julienned and dressed with a chilli vinaigrette before toasted almonds and poppy seeds are added. There is not much that is more delicious than this. You can make it at other times of the year – I do – but it is harder to find kohlrabi or jicama in Summer.
The recipe is an Ottolenghi one, from his book Plenty More. I received my first Ottolenghi book, Ottolenghi, as a gift after a visit to London, and before Yotham had made an impact in Australia. It was an eye opening book at the time, and it is a measure of the impact of Ottolenghi and his crew that we now take as normal many of the ingredients that Yotham introduced and were harder to find at the time.
In fact, today it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often slightly massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry.
Browse all of our Salads and all of our Ottolenghi dishes. We have written about our experiences cooking through Plenty More. Or explore our Mid Winter dishes.
Recently I popped into the Adelaide Central Market and came home with bags full of goodies, including some colourful heirloom carrots. Half of them went into a Honey Roasted Carrot dish, and the rest were thrown into the oven with curry leaves and shredded lime leaves with Cumquat Juice (or lime juice can be used), and some curry powder as well. Its a lovely dish, perfect for this Autumn weather. It is still warm so we are still eating outside when we can. This dish looks perfect on our outside table.
It is another Ottolenghi dish – we have a focus on his dishes this year, so we turn to his books whenever we can. But we mix his recipes up whenever we can to make use of what we have in the kitchen. In his book, Plenty More, Ottolenghi uses swedes, parsnips and carrots in this dish, but I have used only carrots – lovely young heirloom carrots. Spring onions are added later in the cooking, and their fresh greenness adds a beautiful element to the dish.
So, it is Ottolenghi day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking primarily from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. As I said, I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Similar recipes include Roasted Carrots with Coriander Seed, Golden Brown Carrots with Garlic, Honey Roasted Carrots with Citrus Juice and Yoghurt, South Indian Carrot Soup, and Hot Roasted Carrot Salad.
Browse all of our Carrot recipes and all of our Roasted dishes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Mid Autumn dishes.
It might be Spring, but some days are cold and windy, and we want the oven on to warm our living area, and we still long for soup with crusty bread.
Today it is Swede Soup – the swede is roasted and pureed with other vegetables to make a creamy beautiful soup. Swede is not a vegetable we use very often but we are working on changing that. It is an interesting vegetable with an undeservedly poor reputation. I would say that it is a shy vegetable, a little rough and ugly when uncooked, but when heat hits those babies, it brings out a sweet, nutty taste. Delicious!
In parts of the world, Swede is called Rutabaga, and in other parts it is called Neeps.