5 February 2008

Rutin’ around for a title…

Posted in events, food tagged at 10:10 pm by Tricia

2008 is the International Year of the Potato and January 2008 was declared NATIONAL RUTABAGA MONTH by the Advanced Rutabaga Studies Institute (ARSI). I’m pretty sure the latter doesn’t have the same level of backing as the Potato folks (one has the backing of the UN, the other hosts their site on tripod – that’s the first clue), but they do have a streaming rutabaga webcam! How fun is that! (Fun in the whimsical sense, not in the side-splitting raucous entertainment sense…)

All of this is timely because the recently reinvigorated Paper Chef featured these four ingredients: potatos, rutabagas, tomatoes, and bacon. My first thought on reading that was “potato-rutabaga gratin! But what to do with the tomatoes?” My second thought was “do I still have a rutabaga in the fridge, from my CSA?” Clearing out the produce drawer revealed no rutabagas, but plenty of turnips (way past their prime storage life, but they are local and organic and still appear to be in fine shape…).

Anyway, for a variety of reasons, I didn’t pull things together to participate, but if I had, this is what I would have done:

half pound potatos, cut into chunks (peeled if so desired, but I probably wouldn’t)
nice sized rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks equivalent in size to the taters
sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
4-6 slices good quality bacon

Cook some bacon to generate bacon grease. Crumble the bacon and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss the potatoes and rutabaga with some bacon grease (or olive oil, if you don’t want to be true to Paper Chef and are concerned about the source of your fat calories) and green chile salt (if you have it, I do) or powdered red chiles and salt. Roast in the oven. At about 30 minutes, stir the root chunks and toss in your diced up tomatoes. Cook another 15 to 30 minutes, until the roots are fork tender. Toss the bacon crumbles on for the last few minutes in the oven. Serve warm.

So I guess this truly is a “paper” chef entry, since it exists only in theory (electronic chef? imaginary chef?).

If you want to see what real participants made, go read the round-up at Lucullian Delights.



  1. Deb said,

    I’m just stunned at the Rutacam. (yes. I went to see it.) Who knew??? It’s hard to believe this, since I’m German and all, but I am not much for rutabagas, or turnips, or parsnips. I’m sure I have Palatinate ancestors spinning in their graves on that one… but perhaps they will RIP when they find out I do enjoy a good heifeweissen! 🙂

    Enjoyed your blog… it’s been a while since I’ve dropped by!


  2. jonskifarms said,

    Thanks Deb! I was not all that keen on rutabagas and parsnips or turnips – in fact, I’d probably never even bought them! – until I joined my CSA and got them fresh. When my FIL was still alive and visiting during CSA season, he’d eat kohlrabis and parsnips raw. They’re still not my favorites, even fresh picked from the source, although I did find a good recipe for glazed baby turnips.

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