Rutabaga with Dijon

IMG_6198The under-loved rutabaga (swede, neeps or yellow turnip) has been part of the European diet since pre-historic times, and been used as livestock fodder since at least the 1400’s. It has fed folks through famine, and kept livestock alive through the winter.  It may be whimsy, but I can easily visualize a young serf walking towards his hovel with a turnip in hand, or a young maid with a wooden pail of turnip heads for her cow.

The tops are highly nutritious food & fodder, but the root is a great source of fiber and vitamin C, as well as many other minerals & vitamins, and keeps really well in your fridge for up to a month.

Some people find the taste of brassicas (of which rutabagas are a family member) bitter to taste.  However, their health benefits are significant enough that including them in our diet is important.  I for one love the taste of rutabaga.  It can be mashed with potatoes (Neeps & Tatties) or with carrots, but it does beautifully on its own.  If just a little tang and sweetness are added, any bitterness falls to the wayside.  So, eat your brassicas & roots, folks, all at once! Continue reading

Frozen Espresso Nougat with Pistachios & Bourbon

IMG_6179Frozen nougat is a lovely way to end a meal.  It is so light, and a half–cup serving is all that’s needed.  If the dinner has been a full one, it’s nice to serve something light and cool for dessert.  Remember that dessert is the last thing on your guests’ palates.  It needs to be memorable, in a good way!

I’ve served this many times over the years, but in a very simple version.  It was a bit of an epiphany for me to add in the espresso & bourbon, and switch the nuts to pistachio.  When I was making this batch, I was making enough for twenty.  After preparing the nuts (which I did the night before), it took me just over an hour to have all twenty covered and in the freezer, ready for a dinner in a couple of days’ time.

I served them with a tray of small mixed cookies, an easy but special finish to a great evening.  Continue reading