The first time I had mashed potatoes with rutabagas was at a friend's house. She had cooked dinner for us, and asked her why the mashed potatoes were a particular golden color with such a rich flavor. What kind of potato was this? "I added some rutabagas to them," she smiled. I thought this was an exotic creation she had devised, but she told me it's common in Northern Europe to do this.
In Poland, combining these two ubiquitous winter vegetables is called Brukiew z Ziemniak, and in Scotland, this dish is called "Neeps and Tatties." It was terrific, and I thought to myself, "Well, now maybe I'll stop overlooking the poor rutabaga!"
Mashed Potatoes with Rutabaga, or Neeps & Tatties
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cubed
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 to 3 tbsp. butter
Salt & pepper to taste
Cream or milk (optional)
Rutabagas take longer to cook, so put them in a pot with some boiling water or broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add the potatoes, and simmer for 20 minutes. Both vegetables should be fork-tender. Drain, and add salt & pepper to taste, then the butter, and mash. You can add a little milk or cream too, if you like. Traditionally served with haggis, but can be served as a side with any meat dish or as a topping for shepherd's pie.
(Image: Kathryn Hill)