The Sword in the Stone

Sunday, January 11, 2015
I have to admit I’d never cooked with rutabagas – never even eaten them, to my recollection – before I tried this recipe. But when I opened Yotam Ottolenghi’s new cookbook, Plenty More, I kept flipping back to this page. I had to try it.

The recipe is pretty straightforward, but cutting rutabaga isn’t easy. At one point, as I was slicing through the thickest part, my knife actually got stuck. I tried sawing it forward and yanking it backward. Still it wouldn’t move. I felt like the young King Arthur trying to remove his fabled sword from its resting place. But like young Arthur, I persevered, certain it was my destiny to do so. And like him, I was eventually successful.

Though I can’t claim this recipe is the holy grail, I can tell you it was mythically delicious. And its magical powers were such that even my 17 year old – who doesn’t like anything – ate it, and admitted she liked it. Even Merlin hath no greater power.


Stuffed Peppers with Rutabagas and Goat Cheese
(adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi)

2/3 cup unsalted butter (yikes! But don’t worry, you’ll drain off most of it)
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 3/4" (1 cm) dice
1/2 cup thyme leaves
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small yellow bell peppers
3 small red bell peppers
2 tsp olive oil
6 ounces (180 gram) goat cheese log, broken into 3/4" (1 cm) pieces
salt and black pepper

Melt the butter in a large saute pan or frying pan over medium heat. Add the rutabaga, thyme, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and a grind of pepper. Turn down the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for about 50 minutes, spooning the butter over the rutabaga from time to time, until the rutabaga is completely soft and caramelized. Use a slotted spoon to remove the rutabaga from the butter and add it to a large bowl along with the Parmesan and garlic. Set aside until needed. (The leftover butter can be used for cooking carrots or zucchini, if you like.)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and white flesh and place, cut side up, on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the oil over the top, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and place in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the peppers are slightly charred and the flesh is completely soft. Remove the peppers from the oven and turn down the temperature to 425 degrees F.


Spoon the rutabaga mixture into each pepper and dot the goat cheese on top. Return to the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes, so the cheese gets some colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving warm, or serve at room temperature.


27 comments:

Kayte said...

Oh these look wonderful! I have been debating on getting this book and the more I see posted of it, the more it's making it's way to my birthday list this year. I always have that trouble getting a knife through butternut/acorn/spaghetti squash and someone somewhere told me to get the knife started and then use a mallet to pound it and make it go through until it splits open...that works! I use my meat tenderizing mallet most of the time and for the knife I use my Japanese cleaver. It doesn't feel like the knife will slip and cut me when I do it that way. Just passing it on. :-) Your photos are lovely.

Beth said...

Thanks for the advice, Kayte! A mallet and cleaver are great ideas (because I did worry about the knife slipping and cutting me). I'll use your suggestion next time I make this recipe!

Angie Schneider said...

I love rutabagas..I used them in soups and salads very often, but never thought of using them to stuff peppers. A great idea, Beth.

Catherine said...

Dear Beth, I love the analogy to King Arthur.
I don't recall ever eating rutabagas either; though with the goat cheese, I bet I would like this very much.
I hope you are have a great weekend and keeping warm. It finally is a pretty nice day here.
xo Catherine

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've never eaten them either. But this recipe makes them sound like something good to try. You always have such good recipes.

Barbara said...

That looks wonderful, Beth. I love rutabaga and eat it a lot. My kids, not so much. My mother served it a lot when I was a kid. One year made a mash a la Ina Garten for Christmas dinner. Loved it. This is a must try recipe!

Tricia Buice said...

I love his cookbooks but haven't tried this recipe ... yet! It looks and sounds wonderful. I'll have to get my arm strength up so I can cut the rutabaga~! Have a wonderful week!

Bonnie said...

It looks beautiful and sounds yummy! I've used rutabagas a few times; they can be difficult to cut. Happy New Year! Bonnie

Justine Levine said...

Ooh, lovely! Thanks for posting these! Goat cheese makes everything delicious. :)

Valerie Gamine said...

This looks absolutely scrumptious!! Kudos for the King Arthur shout out. :D

Jemi Fraser said...

My hubby cuts them up for me :) Or you can stab them a bunch of times with a fork and microwave them too. This sounds yummy!

Pam said...

I have never had a rutabaga before. They look tasty!

Laura Dembowski said...

I don't think I've ever had rutabaga before either. I'd love to try it - I think trying new foods is really exciting.

Marcela said...

wow! that's awesome! i've never had rutabaga before! sounds insanely delicious!

Katerina said...

I have never had rutabaga in my life, I haven't even heard of it. I am going to search this up. The peppers look absolutely delicious!

Gloria Baker said...

This look really good Beth!

Joanne said...

Oooo now I know what I'm going to make next from Plenty More! Though I'll try to perhaps get thinner rutabagas :P

grace said...

i think i can truthfully say that i've never eaten a rutabaga! you've made something that looks super tasty though, and you may have inspired me to explore a new root! :)

I Wilkerson said...

What an original way to do stuffed peppers. I have only one recipe for rutabagas which is well-loved but not often made due to the challenge of cutting them up. And it's especially encouraging when a "harder to please" daughter likes something new. The other day, I cut the top off a bulb of garlic, then used the same knife to cut an apple for my youngest, She could taste the garlic oil on the apple so her dad (who couldn't taste it) ate that one and I had to cut a new apple!

kirstenlopresti said...

Trying to remember if I've ever eaten a rutabaga. I know I've never cooked with one, but the recipe looks tasty. Thanks for posting!

amy (fearless homemaker) said...

I don't think I've ever eaten rutabagas either, but this sounds and looks awesome! And if it won over a teenager, then it MUST be wonderful! =D

Monica said...

I have never worked with rutabagas either so I'm intrigued. I do know I struggle with cutting many a squash so I imagine lots of care is important. I'm glad this was so well received. It looks really tasty.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Rutabagas aren't something I use very much, either. Weird, because every time I do I love them. I definitely should use them more -- starting with this recipe! It's wonderful -- thanks.

Liz Berg said...

I can't say I ever recall eating rutabagas, either. But this sure looks like the recipe to test them out---and if your daughter enjoyed them, there's hope for my picky husband, right?

Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

I love the way rutabagas rolls off your tongue! Sounds way better than turnip or neep. Thanks for sharing this recipe :)

Cakelaw said...

I learned something new - I had to look up what a rutabaga was. Cutting root veges often does lead to a struggle to get the knife out, doesn't it. These stuffed peppers look good.

nancy at good food matters said...

in all my many years of cooking, I have never used rutabagas. The Plenty More cookbook is full of so many inspiring recipes, I'd give these a go. love your King Arthur analogy--I experience that too with acorn squash!

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