When I was growing up, I was forced to eat a lot of things that I didn’t want to eat. And my parents – I probably have to blame my dad for this one – were firm believers in the clean-your-plate philosophy. I have vivid memories of swallowing stewed tomatoes whole just to get them off my plate. Other foods that I learned to swallow without chewing? Cooked carrots, Brussels sprouts, and rutabaga. And there were probably more.
Over the years, I’ve overcome my dislike for tomatoes. In fact, I adore tomatoes and would eat them with each meal if possible. I have learned to love Brussels sprouts, and they’re one of my new favorite vegetables. And, recently, I’ve learned to appreciate – and yes, even like – the rutabaga. At a recent dinner, my dad made rutabagas for a side dish, and they were delicious. Even my six year old daughter ate them, and she even wanted seconds.
When I saw a recipe for shaved rutabaga in the latest issue of Food and Wine, I just had to make it. It was delicious – tender and slightly sweet, buttery, with just a hint of black pepper. Plus, I got to play with my new mandoline. And I didn’t lose a finger doing it.
I still don’t like cooked carrots, in case you were wondering.
So, how about you? Are there any vegetables you have had a love-hate (or hate-love or hate-hate) relationship with?
Shaved Rutabagas with Butter and Black Pepper
Very slightly adapted from Food and Wine. The recipe calls for 8 tablespoons butter and I only used 5 tablespoons.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
Two 1-1/2 pound rutabagas - quartered, peeled, and shaved to 1/8 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a very large skillet, melt the butter. Add the shaved rutabagas, season with salt and pepper, and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until tender and browned in spots - about 10-15 minutes (be sure to taste towards the end of cooking to make sure the rutabaga is to your liking). Season with pepper, toss, and serve.