Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crisp Rutabaga Salad

Crisp Rutabaga Salad is one of those dishes that, if it had had a different name, would have been made a lot sooner. I confess being shy of the lowly rutabaga, and the lowly parsnip as well. Although parsnips are really good if you french fry them. However, I digress.
This salad is a perfectly ordinary green salad that contains 1/2 cup of grated rutabaga. A friend who came to dinner on New Year's Day asked if it was jimaica. It could have been carrots or grated apple, or any of those crunchy veggies or fruits we put in salad. It has no "root mousse" taste. It is unremarkable in every way.
Rutabagas were developed in the 17th century in Sweden, and therefore are known as "swedes" in the U.K. Wikipedia sternly instructs us that they are not the same as manglewurtzels, which are some kind of beet. If one continues one's researches on Wikipedia, we learn of the International Rutabaga Curling contest, which takes place on the last day of the Ithaca, N.Y. farmer's market. It got started in 1997, when farmers, wanting to stay warm, began rolling various types of produce down the aisles of the market. "Even frozen chickens were utilized," says Wikipedia in a shocked tone.
I made this on New Year's Day, to go with a baked ham that will soon become split pea soup.
Crisp Rutabaga Salad
1/2 cup grated raw rutabaga
1/2 thinly sliced celery
2 scallions, including green part, chopped
2 radishes, sliced paper-thin
3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon basil
1. Combine the rutabaga, celery, scallions, radishes and romaine in a bowl and chill well.
2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a jar and shake. Chill. Toss the salad with the dressing just before serving.
Makes four servings.

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