Many years ago (pre-blogging life) I had an encounter with jicama that left me traumatized.  I sliced it very thin and ate it the way Marcela often recommends it, as a refreshing, light alternative to corn tortillas.  I intensely disliked it, but through a convoluted set of events, a few days later realized that jicama that was not.  I had bought, sliced, and endured a rutabaga. Big oops moment!  I stayed away from both veggies for quite a long time, but finally made peace with them. Jicama does a reasonable job as tortilla-wannabe, and as far as rutabaga goes, it kills me that I took so long to finally cook it. I fell in love with this mashed version at the first spoonful. Creamy, smooth, with a unique flavor, perfect to showcase some Boeuf Bourguignon… or any other type of beef stew that might be calling your name.  Truth is, if you cannot make winter disappear by snapping your fingers, the alternative is to fight it with comfort food. Like this root veggie puree with a touch of coconut milk.  You will love it, I promise!

(slightly modified from A Calculated Whisk)

3 medium rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large yam, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
dash of nutmeg

Place the rutabaga and yam chunks in a saucepan with the salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, until the veggies are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Place the rutabaga, yam, olive oil, coconut milk. salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth, add the nutmeg and process briefly. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. If needed, adjust consistency with some of the reserved cooking liquid.


to print the recipe, click here


Comments: This meal was perfect for a snowy Saturday evening.  I cooked the beef stew low and slow for over 4 hours, it was luscious, the red wine mellowed down by the long gentle simmer in the oven.  The rutabaga puree, perhaps an unusual side dish for Bourguignon,  was quite a nice match not only in taste and texture, but also in its color, bright golden.  When we sat down to enjoy our dinner, Phil took a first bite and immediately decided it was worthy of a special bottle of wine, one we bought in France many years ago. That was a great move…  Almost made me forget the snow outside. Almost.


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