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Rutabaga and Apple Bisque

Sarah West

Sometimes the best way to explore an unfamiliar ingredient is to pair it with those you already know well. A cross between cabbage and turnips, rutabagas are a curious, old-fashioned seeming root. Unless you like dirty-white, asymmetrical vegetables, they are short on aesthetic appeal. Once cooked, their starchy flesh blooms into its signature golden hue and a decidedly more potato-like fluff than any of their turnip cousins.

With sweet and bitter notes to their flavor profile (the dominance of either quality dependent upon growing conditions), rutabagas benefit from balancing agents, especially butter and cream. This subtle bisque makes deft use of rutabaga's silky texture along with many items available on market shelves right now. Try finishing it with chopped pastured bacon, slivers of raw arugula or Tuscan kale, or, for something truly decadent, picked Dungenness crab meat and a swirl of melted butter.


Serves 6

Ingredients

About 1-1/2 pounds rutabagas
2 tablespoons butter, plus more to finish
1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced
2 tart apples, cored and sliced
1 small orange-fleshed sweet potato and/or 2 orange carrots, scrubbed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence
Sea salt
4 to 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup half-and-half or milk
Freshly ground white pepper

1. Thickly peel the rutabagas and chop them into a rough dice. You should have about 4 cups.

2. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leek, apples, sweet potato, rutabagas, and herbes de Provence. Season with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, add 1 cup of the stock, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the remaining 4 cups of stock, bring to a simmer, re-cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetable pieces.

3. Let the soup cool slightly, then puree in blender and return it to the pot. Add the half-and-half and heat through, but avoid bringing back to a simmer. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Stir in a little extra butter. The soup will be thick, creamy, and delicate. Serve hot.



Based on a recipe from Vegetable Literacy, by Deborah Madison.

Apple-Cabbage Salad

Sarah West

Ingredients
1 head savoy cabbage
½ small celeriac
1 apple
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1 shallot
salt and pepper

Steps

  1. Remove and discard outer cabbage leaves. Cut in half, remove core and slice thinly. Peel celeriac, cut into thin slices then julienne the slices. Core and peel the apple, then slice and julienne like the celeriac.
  2. Peel and finely dice the shallot. Combine the shallot,vinegar, oil and a little salt and pepper in a large salad bowl. Add the cabbage, celeriac and apple to the bowl and toss. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.