Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Salt baked swede
Swedes, rutabaga, or whatever you choose to call them, I'm guessing you fall into one of two categories, love them or hate them. Much like the often maligned brussels sprouts there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground or indifference to them, you’re either excited to have them on your plate or someone will of offended you greatly. Unlike the sprout, which on inspection you have reasonably good idea of what flavour it’s going to be, it looks like a mini cabbage and is probably going to taste a bit like one too, the swede however is a root vegetable carefully hiding its true flavours, which is pretty pronounced cabbage, so yay for Brassica lovers.
It’s a pretty versatile vegetable, it works well raw, grated with some garlic hot aioli as a remoulade, sliced thin and stir fried, baked in fat with a roast, steamed or as below baked in salt to really intensify the flavour, sliced into wedges and served with some peppery hot olive oil.
Salt crusts are reasonably straight forward, dump a lot of salt into a bowl and crack in a couple of egg whites, mix together to make a wettish sandy mixture. Make a layer in the bottom of the roasting dish, nestle in the peeled swedes and firmly pack with salt making sure there are no gaps. Bake at 170ºC for about an hour, a little longer won't hurt. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes or so. With the back of a knife, crack the crust open like an egg and gently wrestle the swedes free.