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Nov 22, 2000 12:50 PM

Rutabagas on parade

  • b

Am planning on serving these roots tomorrow. I've always had them in a German fashion, my father --Austrian--said "eingebrengt"(sp?), boiled then mixed with onions sauteed with several slices of bacon, chopped. (Also a basis for German potatoe salad and hot green beens.) Also have served them mashed with butter.
Any other options for this humble, yet tasty, veg?

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  1. s
    Simon Majumdar


    can someone please translate rutabega into english english as I would like to try these

    18 Replies
    1. re: Simon Majumdar

      Over there it's a "swede," I believe.

      1. re: Steven Stern
        Simon Majumdar

        Thanks Guys

        A fount of information as ever

        Believe it of not they are also quite nice in very small quantities shredded in a salad. Bizarre but true

        usually just served mashed with butter cream and lots of black pepper with roast meats, but I am going to have to try it the austrian way

        I wonder apart from the obvious courgette/zuccini type stuff, what other vegetables/foods prove we are two races kept apart by a common language

        1. re: Simon Majumdar

          aubergine/eggplant;ladyfingers/okra--and don't get me started on cuts of meat-when I first started cooking from he works of Elizabeth David and Margaret Costa, I felt as if my head had been wrapped in cotton wool (as you guys over there refer to it).

          1. re: Martha Gehan

            Don't know for sure but based on postings, I'm assuming you're American? Have you ever come across an article or a cookbook that covers - or offers advice about 'translating' UK/US recipes or foods - i.e. the American in Sainsbury's looking for molasses and wonders if black treacle is an apt substitute? Or cuts of meat 'by any name,' as you mentioned...

            If it doesn't already exist, do you think such an article or even a trans-Atlantic cookbook might be useful...for both general advice; measurements; substitute ingredients; holiday recipes... How to cook your Christmas goose in America (for Brits) and how to make Hot Dogs and Apple Pie in England (for Americans) etc...

            Would be interested to know if anyone is familiar with anything like this already, or if you guys think it would sell?

            1. re: magnolia

              As the one who got the rutabaga rolling, I find your proposal intriguing. I don't really see a full cookbook out of it (but hey, I'm an American in Detroit), but think an article would be quite interesting and useful. A parallel research thread could compare British/Canadian/American foodstuffs/ names. Just because they're close, doens't mean the Canadians speak American English-- every now and then we close to Windsor get a surprise (I remember courgettes now and then). I'd find it a good read. Let us know if you go with Swedes rule!

              1. re: berkleybabe

                Well I'll tell you guys when my book comes out and you can help it sell out. :-)

              2. re: magnolia
                Simon Majumdar

                There was a similar book I worked on many years ago. It was quite a slim volume and did not do well. As we say in the trade " it went out in leaps and bounds and came back in skips"

                I do think there is an extended article in there though, full of the food stuff and other guidance.

                If it had been around when an aunt of mine was staying over from NY in the early 80's I might never have asked her if she wanted me to knock her up in the morning!!!!!!!!!!!

                1. re: Simon Majumdar

                  That would be similar to the time my sister was in a pub in Ireland and was invited to an after-hours club by a group of locals. She said she'd love to but needed a ride. Oh my dear, one fellow said, you don't want to be asking anyone for THAT over here!

                  Perhaps your firm might consider a new release so that we all might avoid such faux pas...

                2. re: magnolia

                  I am indeed American, and while I'd love a reference like the one you describe it does not shock me all that much that the one Simon mentions below didn't sell. Think it's probably a more limited audience than we on the NYC-London express line would like to think.The Penguin editions of Elizabeth David's works have conversion tables in them, and I think (not at home so I'll have to double check) that some of Jane Grigson's books have a glossary (and I bought all of them in London at Books for Cooks, a great shop in Bleinheim Crescent in Notting Hill). Sometimes it can be intuited from the recipe what the author is referring to, but alas not always. Although I have never lived in the UK, I have had two fairly lengthy relationships with men who do (what does it say about me that I can't get interested in anyone on this side of the ocean?)so have cooked and shopped there a bit. My former boyfriend, who lives in London, is American so was no help translating. I still find a trip to the butcher to be most confusing-- not only are the terms for cuts of meat different, the cuts are different! Oh well, with the prevalence of BSE popping up all round Europe, I think I may eschew beef at least for a while when there.

                  1. re: Martha Gehan

                    I've bought several British cookbooks discounted at the local bookstore, and they all seem to have the same problems:

                    1. Although they always have a glossary, they end up calling for types of things they haven't defined for us. For instance, a chocolate cookbook which lists 6 other kinds of chocolate, but calls for 'plain' chocolate in its recipes.
                    2. Inability to convert units consistently. A chutney recipe calls for 16 ounces of coriander and mint leaves to serve four!
                    3. Can't make up their minds which ingredient they want us to use, anyway. The chocolate cookbook repeatedly tells us that unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate are interchangeable, even in recipes that have no other sweetening!

                    It's amazing anybody ever makes anything successful using recipes like these.

                    1. re: Katherine

                      Ah - well, Katherine, here's where I can be of help. I think I know the brands and words for chocolate in as many 'languages' as the Pope knows blessings!

                      Plain chocolate=dark chocolate (as opposed to milk)

                      Other questions?

                      As for mint leaves to serve 4 - I think that's just a carelessly written recipe, not a British v US thing. I have some American cookbooks that are just as vague.

                  2. re: magnolia
                    Alexandra Eisler

                    A food guide would be quite helpful.

                    When briefing visiting British food companies, I remind them that, here in the US, flapjacks are pancakes, popsicles are lolipops and if a retailer asks for $500 for slotting, he's not prostituting himself...

                3. re: Simon Majumdar

                  Hmmm...the sharp, crisp rocket is the local equivalent of the more mellifluous arugula, while the aubergine (say like they do on GGM!) is the pretentious cousin of the tell-it-like-it-is eggplant; and don't forget tomAHtoes...also I've seen food here that I never saw in American such as a fruit that must be nicer than its name implies - physalis (?)

                  1. re: Simon Majumdar
                    Martha Gehan

                    Well, I looked at my Jane Grigson collection and she does indeed provide a glossary in her vegetable cookbook, and it is written in her usual dazzingly erudite style. However, it's not entirely on the mark. She says cress is called 'American cress' here, not watercress and she offers the American term for scarlet runners (which I have NEVER heard called anything else) as 'Dutch penknife beans'. Huh? I guess my next sojourn in the UK will have to include less time spent in galleries and pubs and more put in at the greengrocer, pointing at things and asking their names until I am forcibly ejected from the premises.

                    1. re: Martha Gehan

                      maybe those are old terms? My British cookbooks (of which I have some doozies) are in storage but when I get them out, I'll have to check some of this out. They include Mrs. Beeton's (not so much a cookbook, but the original and some might say better incarnation of Na. Lawson's derivative 'how to be a domestic goddess') and a huge one by Delia somthing but not Smith.

                      I have NEVER even heard of scarlet runners or Dutch penknife beans...

                      1. re: magnolia

                        We grow scarlet runners in big pots on our front porch. They grow long leafy vines that you can train up your pillars or trellises. I've never heard of Dutch penknife beans, however.

                4. re: Simon Majumdar

                  While I can't translate into English English, I can try to describe them. They very hard, round root vegetables, related, I believe, to the cabbage family. They have a golden color with some purplish hue on the body and stem/roots part. Tops and roots are cut off--so you end up with a hard vegabel not quite teh size of a melon. Very heavy for their size. Most noticeable here in the Midwest, they're always coated with wax. You need a cleaver to half them, then quarter them, then peel the wax off. Chop and boil like a potato. They have a cabbagey smell when cooking, which is actually stronger than the taste, which is rooty, slightly bitter, with a finished texture almost like squash.

                  1. re: Simon Majumdar

                    Similar to turnips, but larger and more fibrous, with a slightly more earthy and bitter taste. The bitterness makes them a marvelos foil for things lusciously fatty, like bacon (as mentioned above),pork roast, duck confit, etc. I also think they are called swedes in the UK.

                  2. My British sister-in-law boils them and mashes them with steamed carrots, butter, salt and fresh pepper. Delicious and simple.