Rutabaga and Squash Swirl

Holiday 2006
food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

Canadians love turnips at Christmas dinner, but the roots bring some confusing semantics with them. What's usually at the table is rutabaga, a large root vegetable that is often waxed, rather than white and purple turnips.

2 lb (500 g) orange winter squash such as butternut or Hubbard
2 lb (500 g) rutabaga
1½ cups (375 mL) water, divided
½ cup (125 mL) whipping cream
½ tsp (2 mL) salt, divided
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
2 tbsp (25 mL) rum
¼ cup (50 mL) coarsely chopped fresh parsley

1. Peel, seed and cube squash. (Tip: If using a whole squash, using a knife pierce into squash's hollow area, then microwave whole for 4 to 5 minutes to soften skin. Then cool until able to handle.) Peel and cube rutabaga. Place each vegetable in separate saucepans; add ¾ cup (175 mL) water to each pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes for squash and 30 minutes for rutabaga or until soft when pierced by a skewer or fork.

2. Drain vegetables; keep separate. Purée rutabaga first in a food processor or food mill. Add whipping cream and ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt. Whirl until well mixed; return to saucepan. Without bothering to wash bowl or mill, purée squash in the same manner. Whirl in butter, rum and remaining ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt.

3. Alternately dollop rutabaga and squash into an ovenproof 2 quart (2 L) bowl or casserole; swirl decoratively with a spoon. If serving right away, cover and bake in a preheated 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until hot. (Or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Cold mixture needs 45 to 55 minutes in oven to become hot.)

4. Remove cover from hot vegetables; dot with additional butter if you wish. Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley.

Serves 8