Turnip-Rutabaga Puree (with Garlic Confit)
Do you love mashed potatoes?
I could take ‘em or leave ‘em, but in our house, mashed potatoes are king – perfect with roast chicken, meatloaf, lamb chops, anything braised; the list goes on and on. My hubby and all three of the kids are happy when there are mashed potatoes on the menu. I’m sure a great majority of families feel the same way.
Lately, though, I’ve been trying to make sneaky healthier substitutes for the starchy side.
While my husband and I adore sweet potato puree, it doesn’t always compliment the rest of the meal (and the kids aren’t fond of sweet potatoes, which I find slightly bizarre – they’re sweet, after all. What kid doesn’t like sweet stuff?) And we’re not fans of substituting cauliflower puree for mashed potatoes.
So when I kept receiving turnips and rutabagas in my weekly local box, a light bulb went off. What if I substituted these root veggies for our beloved potatoes?
And so I did.
Turnips and rutabagas actually make a lovely substitute for potatoes. Their flavors are light and neutral and take well to savory main dishes and additions. They’re light in color, too, so they trick little mashed-potato-loving eyes into thinking they’re the real thing. Preparation is essentially the same – you boil, drain, and mash or puree. I love that I can throw them in my food processor and, unlike potatoes, get a perfectly smooth puree without the “glue-y” texture. I also enjoy that they are lighter in my belly – no bloated mashed potato-induced food coma!
The best part? They have been accepted by the picky eaters in the family. This is no small feat, people. I’m thankful for that, because I think we may have a few more weeks of turnips and rutabagas before their season comes to an end.
My favorite way to enjoy this simple puree is to throw a clove or two of garlic confit into the food processor when I’m making it. The garlic adds depth and subtle, mellow sweetness. It doesn’t make the puree “garlicky”; rather, it’s a lovely background note that makes you want to lick the plate. I won’t tell if you do!
Turnip-Rutabaga Puree (with Optional Garlic Confit)
About 1 lb of turnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
About 1 lb of rutabagas, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tsp salt
1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, broth, or cooking water
1-2 cloves, plus a bit of oil, from garlic confit (optional, but delicious!)
Place the chunks of turnips and rutabagas into a medium saucepan, along with the salt and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and allow to boil until the chunks are easily pierced with a fork.
Drain, reserving the cooking water if you desire, and place chunks into the bowl of a food processor. Add a bit of almond milk, coconut milk, broth or the cooking water to the chunks. Don’t add the full amount – you don’t want your puree to be too thin. You just want enough liquid to get the solids moving a bit. Also add the garlic cloves, if using.
Puree, stopping to scrape down the sides every so often, and adding additional liquid if needed. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Alta Mantsch is the author of Tasty Eats At Home, a food blog dedicated to tasty gluten and dairy-free recipes, foods, and living, and is a Community Leader at the Udi’s Gluten Free Living Community Forum.