Rutabaga-Carrot Soup (Juurikasviksiakeitto)
This thick pureed vegetable soup – adapted from a recipe in the 1990 Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant – is a Finnish specialty. We love the sunny flavors generated from the rutabaga, carrots, orange juice and fresh ginger.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cups rutabaga, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup stock
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 cups orange juice
salt and freshly gound black pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add in the onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes until translucent. Add in the carrots, rutabaga, and salt and sauté for another 10-15 minutes. Add in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add in the ginger, nutmeg and orange juice and puree until smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Rutabaga Casserole (Länttulaatikko)
The Finns love rutabaga, partly because it grows so well in their far northern climate. The following recipe is loosely adapted from one presented in the 1968 Scandinavian volume of the Time-Life Foods of the World series (ISBN 978-0809400317). While the original makes a baked mashed rutabaga dish, we decided to leave them cubed as we liked the contrast between the yellow rutabaga chunks and the white sauce. But feel free to mash the cooked rutabaga if you want your Länttulaatikko to be fully authentic.
8 cups rutabaga, peeled and cut into ¼” dice
1 tablespoon salt, in all
¼ cup chevre
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ cup soft bread crumbs
¼ cup softened butter
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Place rutabagas into a 6 quart pan and cover with water. Add in a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the rutabagas are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
In another bowl, whisk together the chevre, eggs and nutmeg. Combine with the bread crumbs, parboiled rutabaga, and butter.
Place into a buttered casserole and bake for an hour or until the top is browned.
One of the hallmarks of the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula cuisine are pasties, the sturdy meat and vegetable filled savory pastry that immigrated to the region with Cornish miners. We’ve always liked our pasties with much more vegetable than meat, and here we’ve simply eliminated the meat altogether. The result is very tasty and we doubt you’ll feel unfulfilled. The pasties hold very well in the refrigerator or freezer, and reheated in the oven we think they taste even better. You may want to consider doubling or tripling the recipe as they will be quickly eaten. Our recipe is loosely based on one presented in the 1990 Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant.
3 cups white flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold butter, cut into ½” cubes
3 tablespoons ice water
Place flour in a mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over the top. Cut the butter cubes into the flour using your fingers until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Sprinkle the water over the top and mix with a mixing spoon until the ingredients gather up and form a dough. Knead a few times and then gather into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
1 cup celery, coarsely chopped
1 cup rutabaga, peeled and cut into ½” dice
¾ cup leek, cleaned and chopped
1½ cup carrots, cut into ½” dice
2 cups potatoes, cleaned and cut into ¾” dice
2 cups grated cheese (such as sharp cheddar, gruyere, or taleggio)
1/8 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix together all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each into a 7” circle. Place ¼ cup of filling on the half of the dough round facing towards you. Press the filling into the dough and fold the uncovered half over the top of the filling. Roll up the edges and crimp. Cut 2-3 small slits into the top to allow steam to escape, and place on a large baking pan. Repeat until all eight pasties have been formed.
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes until the pasties are golden-brown. Remove from oven and lest rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
You'll likely have unused filling. We turned this into a simple vegetarian shepherd's pie by placing the left-over raw filling into a buttered casserole, and topped it with mashed potatoes. We then baked the pie for 40-45 minutes in a 350° F oven until the top was golden brown.
Root Vegetable Ragout
This excellent vegan winter root vegetable ragout is adapted from a recipe presented in Georgeanne Brennan’s 1995 France: The Vegetarian Table (ISBN 978-0811804745). While her original recipe was flavored to suggest a North African couscous, we have tried to pull it back into a more classic Provencal style through use of Herbs de Provence and dried tomatoes. We are also quite fond of this recipe as it provides a glimpse of the type of vegetable cooking that was common in Europe prior to the advent of New World potatoes; in fact everything in this recipe – save for the dried tomatoes – would have been present in Provence back to at least the Middle Ages.
2 pounds parsnips, washed and cut into 2” chunks
1 pound turnips, washed and quartered
1 pound rutabaga, washed and cut into eights
1 pound carrots, washed and cut into 2” lengths
¼ cup olive oil, in all
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups stock
1 cup water
4 bay leaves
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into ½” strips
1 pound chard leaves, washed, destemmed, and cut into 1/2” wide ribbons
Parboil shallots for 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain and peel away the skin from the top downward. Cut off the skin by cutting through the root plate at the bottom. Be sure to leave some of this place as otherwise the shallots will fall apart upon cooking. Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy skillet and saute the peeled shallots over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes until their outsides have caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large, heat-proof casserole warm remaining olive oil over medium heat. When hot add in the parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, and carrots and saute for until well coated in the oil and somewhat softened, about 10 minutes.
Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence and sprinkle over the vegetables. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the flour begins to stick and turn brown on the casserole bottom. Add the wine and deglaze the casserole. After a minute or two add in the stock, water, bay leaves, dry tomato strips, half of the chard, and reserved carmelized shallots. Cover casserole and bake until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Remove cover, stir in the remaining chard, and continue baking for another to reduce the sauce and brown the vegetables slightly. Serve warm, preferably with a fresh, crusty baguette..