Mashed Carrots and Rutebega

Mashed purple carrot and rutebega

This easy dish is a very old traditional British dish that my family has been making for years(usually around Thanksgiving), but it makes a really delicious side dish throughout Fall and winter.

Ingredients:

  • Carrots: You can use any type, but I used purple carrots because that is what I recieved in my food share. Fun facts: All carrots used to be purple until Dutch growers cultivated a mutant strain of purple carrot that turned into the orange carrots you are used to seeing at the market. They have a number of additional health benefits because the purple color comes from the presence of  antioxidants in the carrot.
  • Rutebega: You can also substitute turnip or potato into this recipe if that is what you ahve around. That will change the flavor/consistency of the mash but it will still be delicious
  • Butter
  • Salt/pepper

You might have noticed I did not put the amounts of each ingredient, but before you freak out let me explain. This mash is customizable and you can change it based on your tastes. If you don’t care and you want exact directions or are already an experienced cook then I have included pictures of the exact mash I made below(3 large carrots and 2 rutebegas). Otherwise, stick with me here.

If you hate carrots and/or rutebegas I am am surprised you chose this recipe but it is a good selection because this mash doesn;t really taste like either. I personally love both, so I use equal amounts of carrot and rutebega(I usually cut it up and make sure the pot is filled with half carrot and half rutebega), but I like a little bit sweeter mash so if I will include a little but more carrot if I have it. If you don’t like carrots so much, put more rutebega in and vice versa. If you like niether vegetable(and don’t care about calories) you can add more butter at the end(I usually put about one tablespoon for the whole pot, but I know others who put a at of butter on top of each bowl they eat). Okay, now that you have some idea about how to customize this this is how I made my mash:

Here are the carrots and rutebegas I used:


Directions:

  1. First peel your carrots and rutebegas
  2. Then cut each vegetable into small cubes roughly the same size
  3. Put all the cubes into a large pot and cover with water
  4. Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down the heat, cover and let the vegetables simmer for about 15-20 mins. You may need more time depending upon the freshness of your vegetables(If they are a little older they will be tougher and take longer to cook) test a cube of each vegetable with a fork to see if it is tender(if the fork pierces the vegetables easily then it is done)DSC01877
  5. Drain the water out of the pan and then mash the vegetables with a hand masher, blender, immersion vegetable, fork or any other tool you ahev available that will get the job done.
  6. Add the amount of butter you like(I use only 1 tbsp, but my mom puts in 4 tbsps when she makes it), stir it in and add a little bit of salt and pepper and voila a simple but delicious mash!

One serving is equal to a cup.

Gnocchi

Homemade poato gnocchi

Homemade potato gnocchi

This delicious dish from Italy is extremely simple to make. I adapted my recipe from the Simply Recipes site, which you should check out because they have a lot of delicious recipes that are super easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of potatoes(you can use any potatoes that you have around, I used mini russet potatoes because that is what I got from my food share this week)
  • 2 egg yolks(make sure to save your egg whites for a super healthy omelette, low-calorie french toast or anything else you use egg whites for)
  • 2 cups of flour, separated (You should play with the flour ratio because if you put too little in the dough will be too wet and difficult to work with and if you have too much the gnocchi will be too dense)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Stab the potato with a fork several times to allow the potato to vent while cooking(otherwise it could explode). Bake the potatoes in their skins until tender, about an hour( I put mine in for an hour exactly and they were perfect). Let the potatoes cool a little bit before working with them so you don’t burn your hands but they are still warm.

2. Cut the potatoes in half and scrape out the insides either throwing the skins away or reserving them for a potato skin recipe(I just threw mine away because I personally don’t like potato skins, but if you like them do a google search for some good potato skin recipes or try this one from simply recipes)

3. Mash the potatoes with a hand masher, blender, immersion blender, fork or whatever you have available. I used an immersion blender to get my potatoes really smooth but it is okay if there are small chunks(it doesn’t need to be super smooth, I just happen to like mine that way)

4. Add the egg yolks and 1 to 1.5 cups of the flour. It is easier to add flour than to take it out after you have put it in so I like to start with a cup and then add flour as I need it. One you add everything together your dough should be flexible and pretty sticky but not wet. The extra flour should be dusted on a cutting board or working surface so you dough doesn;t stick to everything. To give you an estimation, I used 1.5 cups of flour in my dough and then about 1/2 cup of flour to keep my dough from sticking to everything. You need to work with the dough in small batches so I found I needed a lot of flour each round to keep my dough from sticking.

5. After figuring out the flour situation, dust the surface of a cutting board or other working surface, take a small ball of dough(about a handful) and begin lightly rolling it into a long cylinder about 3/4 of and inch in diameter. Press lightly so you get an even strip. Then take a knife and cut the long cylinder into 1 inch sections. If you want, make a small indentation in the tops of them with the bottom of a knife or your fingernail to creat dips in the gnocchi that help catch sauce. Repeat these steps with all the dough.

6. After you are done you can freeze the gnocchi or cook it immediately.
To freeze it: Lay  gnocchi out on a tray so they are not touching(ex. cookie sheet, casserole dish, or anything else that the gnocchi will fit in and you have around) and cover with plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. Put this tray in the freezer and let them freeze for about 2-3 hours(can vary depending on your freezer) and then you can transfer them to a bag and they will not get smushed or stick together.
To cook it: Bring a pot of water to a boil( I would suggest filling your pot about halfway with water). Once the pot is boiling carefully drop the gnocchi into the pot in small batches. Only put enough in to cover the bottom of the pot. You don’t want them laying on top of each other because it will be very hard to tell when they are done because when they are done they float to the top. Once the gnocchi float to the top of the water remove them immediately with a slotted spoon, a small strainer or a regular spoon but make sure to drain them well so you don’t a whole bunch of water on your plate. Then pour pasta sauce, cheese, olive oil or whatever else you want to season it with on top and enjoy! You can put the cooked gnocchi in the fridge to save them for another day, but use within a week or freeze the cooked gnocchi. The cooked gnocchi will keep for months in the freezer but I like freezing them uncooked better because they do not clump together.

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Cooked gnocchi

1 serving is equivalent to about 15 gnocchi.