In 1997, when I was working with The Oregonian’s FoodDay section, I had to fight to get this recipe included among the Top 10 recipes of the year. I thought it was so good that I steam-rolled the rest of the staff into accepting a 10 Best recipe based on a root vegetable.
Union Square Cafe’s Puree of Rutabaga with Crispy Shallots
Based on Fresh From the Garden by Perla Meyers
Makes 6 servings
2 medium rutabagas, about 3 pounds, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium all-purpose potato, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 -inch pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 to 3 tablespoons sour cream
Freshly ground white pepper (oh, heck, use black)
1½ tablespoons peanut oil
3 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
In a large saucepan, bring plenty of salted water to a boil, add the rutabagas and potato, and cook until both vegetables are very tender. Drain well and transfer the vegetables to a food processor with 3 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture is not quite creamy, add the remaining tablespoon of sour cream. Transfer to an ovenproof dish, cover, and set in the center of the oven to keep warm.
In a heavy 8-inch skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter together with the oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots and saute until nicely browned and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the shallots on paper towels, then mix into the potato and rutabaga mixture. Correct the seasoning. Serve hot