Monday, July 9, 2012

How to Make Creamed Spinach, Using Rutabaga Greens

Over the weekend I made pulled chicken sandwiches using the barbeque sauce I wrote about several months ago. I needed one or two side dishes and wanted to use vegetables from my garden.

Cole slaw seemed like a natural, but I'm not growing any red cabbage, so that wasn't a possibility. How about creamed spinach, but using a different dark leafy green? Perfect, especially since some of the rutabaga I planted in the spring were ready to pull from the ground and their greens were lush, to say the least. One huge vat of creamed rutabaga greens coming on up!

Not remembering the last time I made creamed spinach, I followed my instincts. I melted butter in a soup pot and then sautéed onion and garlic in the butter. I added the chopped rutabaga greens (probably equal to two or three supermarket bunches of kale or collard greens) and cooked, stirring occasionally, until the greens started to wilt and reduce in volume. I added some unrefined sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a cup of heavy cream. I continued to cook the greens, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until they soaked up the cream and thickened into creamed spinach consistency.

I tasted, reseasoned with some more salt, pepper and a little lemon juice and enjoyed a delicious side dish to accompany the sandwiches.

Feel free to use kale, collard greens, broccoli greens or chard to make this.


Anonymous said...

Sounds worth trying. How did you, or are you planning to, use the rutabagas sans greens? This is interesting because I always think of rutabagas as a fall crop. How early did you plant them, or were they transplants?

Chef Rob said...

For the rutabagas themselves, I'll probably do something based on one of these six recipes/techniques, courtesy of Mark Bittman. (Make sure to engage the interactive feature.)

Yes, they are usually thought of as a fall crop, but since I grow turnips pretty much all summer I figured, "Why not?".

I put rutabaga seed into the ground in the beginning of May and they took about 60 days to mature. Incidentally, my turnip and beet harvest from that early-May direct seeding has been unbelievable.

I'll put more rutabaga seed into the ground in about three weeks, allowing for an early fall harvest. I may even do another seeding at the end of August but won't expect much success with that one.