To learn more about this recipe, read the related story, "Super Tubers".
Rutabaga with Date Purée
Recipe adapted from Philip Krajeck, Rolf and Daughters, Nashville, TN
Yield: 4 servings, plus additional date puree
Cook Time: 45 minutes
9 large Medjool dates
½ cup verjus
5 whole allspice berries
10 whole coriander seeds
2 cinnamon sticks
1 dried bay leaf
1 lemon, peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler
1 orange, peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 large (about 2 pounds) rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ lemon, zested and juiced
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Aleppo pepper (smoked paprika can be substituted)
1. Make the date purée: Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the dates and cook for 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the dates from the pan and transfer to a medium bowl. Cool slightly, then peel off the skin and deseed the dates. Add the dates to a blender.
2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the verjus, allspice, coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and the lemon and orange peels. Bring to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat, cover with a lid or aluminum foil, and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes. Return the pan to the heat and bring to a simmer. Place a fine-mesh sieve over the top of the blender with the dates in it and pour the hot verjus mixture through the sieve. Blend until smooth. Stir in the salt and transfer to a covered container. Store the date purée in the refrigerator.
3. Make the rutabaga: Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, combine the rutabaga, olive oil and salt and toss to combine. Spread the rutabaga onto a baking sheet and roast until it is tender and caramelized, 35 to 40 minutes. Return the hot rutabaga to the medium bowl and immediately add the lemon zest, lemon juice and parsley. Toss to combine.
4. To serve, spread 1 tablespoon of the date purée onto each plate. Divide the rutabaga among the plates and sprinkle each dish with a pinch of Aleppo pepper. Serve immediately wit more salt if desired. Calories per Serving: 120; Sodium: 590mg; Total Carbohydrate: 20g; Fiber: 6g; Fat: 4g