As an adult, I’ve grown to love rutabagas, those deeply flavored root vegetables, that look like giant yellow turnips. Food historians tell us the hearty Brassica napus is actually part of the prized cruciferous vegetable family and evolved when a turnip got together with a wild cabbage (that rogue!) But nutritious as they are, rutabagas assertive taste makes some folks pass them by. If that’s you, this sweetly-savory little veggie-stack of potato, rutabaga, apple and red onion may be just the thing to win you over.
Last week, I ran a riff on Charlie Trotter’s potato & sweet potato pave–(LRF’s Rosemary Potato Pave) pretty much a flattened scalloped potato dish. (“Pave” is French for “paved” and shingling the thin sliced spuds into the pan, they do resemble paving stones.) Preparing that version, I started thinking about other pave possibilities, mellowing rutabaga with apple, for example, and skipping the dairy cream in favor of soy cream. I am very happy with the result! Try it, paired with some pork cutlets, and greens, and a scattering of minced parsley.
Makes 12 servings
- 4 medium Yukon-gold potatoes, peeled and very-thinly sliced with a mandoline
- 4 small (I found baby ones) OR 1 medium rutabaga, peeled and very-thinly sliced with a mandoline
- 1 large tart apple, peeled, cored and quartered, very-thinly sliced with a mandoline
- 1 small red onion, peeled and very-thinly sliced with a mandoline
- 3 sprigs of thyme, stems removed
- salt and freshly-cracked pepper
- 1/2 cup soy-based cream or creamer
- canola spray
- 2 tsp grapeseed oil or canola oil
- Set out four medium-sized bowls. In the first, thinly slice all four potatoes. In the second, thinly slice the rutabaga. In the third, thinly slice the onion. And in the fourth, thinly slice the apple quarters.
- Drizzle a little soycream into each bowl. Sprinkle and toss each bowl of vegetables & drizzled soycream with some of the thyme also salting and peppering contents of each bowl.
- Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Place a layer of potatoes int the bottom, shingling them over one another; then a thin layer of onions; then rutabaga, then apple. Repeat until all of the vegetables are shingled in to the pan. Pour any residual soycream over the pave.
- Spray canola oil spray over a second sheet of aluminum foil. Tightly cover the pan with the second sheet of foil.
- Preheat oven to 350. Place the filled pave pan on a baking sheet. Take a second 8-inch square pan and press this, bottom-side down into the top of the filled pave pan. Place an oven proof weight in the second pan, or on top of the pan.
- Bake the pave at 350 for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and let rest–still weighted– for 2 hours on a baking rack. Refrigerate–still weighted–for another two hours or, until you are ready to use the pave. (You can make this and refrigerate it for up to two days before you want to serve it.)
- When ready to serve, Remove the pave from the pan by inverting the pan onto a platter or cutting board. NOTE: There will be some liquid/juices that come out, too so be ready to sop these up with a towel. Peel off the aluminum foil. Cut into serving-sized squares. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and fry the pave squares until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Flip and fry again on the bottom side. Serve as a side dish.