Our season special this month is easily one of our favourite ingredients. The swede (also known as the yellow turnip or rutabaga) is an extremely versatile root vegetable that works well in any dish, at any time of the year. So whether you’re squashing it for soup or popping it in a pasty, it’s the ideal complement to any meal come rain or shine.
When it comes to the origins of the swede, you might have noticed the name sounds like it has something to do with a certain Scandinavian country. Well, that’s no coincidence — it is, in fact, an abbreviation of ‘Swedish turnip’.
The story goes that, in the 18th century, the King of Sweden sent the seeds to a Scottish inventor, who cultivated them and kick-started the popularity of the vegetable. This explains why it’s the traditional side dish for haggis on Burns Night.
As for the important part, there are plenty of ways to use swede. One trick is to toss roughly chopped pieces into a pan with some crisp sage leaves or black pepper, or season it with a pinch of warming spice — maybe ginger, cumin or chilli — to create a side dish of vivid colour and flavour. A traditional way to prepare this root is to boil and mash it — on its own or mixed with carrot. And you could take this further, turning the mash into gratin or whisking in some egg yolks to whip up a fresh veg soufflé.
Great meals come from the most simple ingredients, which is why we pick season specials, and its versatility is the reason swede is one of our favourite vegetables. We source the best produce to create a range of delicious dishes for your people — giving them a wide variety of food choices that are both healthy and tasty.