When I hear the word, rutabaga, I laugh at the preposterous sound of its name. Imagine Lady Gaga eating Rutabaga with Paul Begala and Barack Obama. See what I mean? Well, this under-appreciated root is just the beginning of my journey through Diane Morgan’s gorgeous new cookbook, Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes. My first stop? The Rutabaga Hash with Onions and Crisp Bacon – yum!
After Diane and Hashcapades were mentioned in an Oregon Potato Commission press release, I simply asked for this Rutabaga Hash recipe, vowing to make it at Chez Clark. But I waited until I bought the actual book from Amazon and quickly discovered not only this hash, but also a Beet Hash with Spicy Chicken Sausage and Soft-Cooked Eggs. Note to self…future hashcapade.
Diane’s lovely cookbook is 431 pages of pure discovery and culinary mastery – Andean Tubers, Arrowhead, Burdock Root, Galangal, Crosne, Turmeric and Taro are just a sample of the roots she explores. Each section recounts the history, varieties, nutrition, availability, storage, and basic use & preparation. Her detailed yet concise introduction to each tuber yields to several recipes that showcase its unique qualities. Just reading the ingredient list made me salivate! Clearly, my hash obsession will never be the same…thank you, Diane!
Without further ado, I’ll show just how easy this hash is to throw together. The ingredient list is deceptively simply – rutabagas, onion, bacon, celery, Anaheim chile, jalapeño, and cilantro. Hashing the ingredients while you cook the bacon will save you some time.
I love my Le Creuset cookware and opted to use it rather than a large skillet. The rutabaga and onion are sautéed first for a total of nine minutes, 7 of which called for a lid on to help steam the rutabagas.
After the vegetables are browned on the edges with the lid removed, add the chiles and celery, cover again for another 3 minutes or so until the rutabaga is tender. Season to taste, stir in the previously cooked bacon & cilantro and then serve with your favorite hot sauce – I used Cholula. See how easy this recipe is? Genius!
I served up the hash in a mini skillet, a perfect rustic treatment for an equally rustic, simple and delicious hash. The rutabaga acquired a sweetness and depth of flavor I’ve never experienced before. Combined with the crisp bacon and piquant chiles with a dash of hot sauce, I was in my own happy little hash world! If this hash is indicative of the quality of the rest of the book, which I’m certain it is, Roots is a winner and must-have addition to foodies everywhere!
Special thanks to Lisa Hill, Diane Morgan and Chronicle Books for your kind permission.
Roots Photo and Rutabaga Hash Recipe courtesy of Diane Morgan, Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes, Chronicle Books 2012
Rutabaga Hash with Onions and Crisp Bacon
Serves 4 to 6
6 slices bacon, about 5 oz/140 g, cut into 3/4-in/2-cm pieces
2 lb/910 g rutabagas, ends trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into slices 1/4 in/6 mm thick
1 Anaheim chile, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-in/12-mm dice
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Tabasco or other hot-pepper sauce for serving
1. In a 12-in/30.5-cm frying pan, preferably cast iron, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
2. Pour off all but 1/4 cup/60 ml of the fat from the pan. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the rutabagas and onion, and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring once, for 7 minutes to steam the rutabagas. Uncover the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are browned at the edges, about 1 minute longer.
3. Add the celery and chiles, stir briefly, and then cover and cook for 3 minutes longer. Uncover the pan and add the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the rutabagas are fork-tender and the celery is crisp but not raw tasting. Fold in the cilantro and bacon. Serve immediately, garnished with additional cilantro. Pass the hot-pepper sauce at the table.