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Because our chefs can make magic with anything, even rutabagas

(page 3 of 4)

Girl & the Goat

Some people begrudgingly cook with rutabagas in the winter. Not Izard. “I love rutabagas,” proclaims the Top Chef winner. The reason: The vegetable’s bitter flavor brings dimension to dishes.

Root Vegetable Caponata
Makes 5 to 6 servings

In this winterized caponata (a sweet-and-sour Italian vegetable dish), rutabaga acts as a counterpoint to raisins and squash. Serve with roasted chicken or grilled fish.

2 thick-cut slices bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and sliced into thin strips
2 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 celery root, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
½ butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
¾ cup raisins, soaked in warm water until plumped, drained
½ cup toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, render the bacon until it begins to crisp, 3 minutes. Stir in the onion and garlic and sweat until soft, 3 minutes. Mix in the pepper and cook 1 minute more, deglazing the pan with about 2 tablespoons water to loosen brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the butter and oil. Once the butter has melted, stir in the rutabaga, celery root, and squash. Season generously with salt and pepper and pour into a roasting pan.

2. Transfer to the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 40 minutes. To finish, mix in the raisins, pistachios, vinegar, and sugar.

Chef tip: Ditch the old, rusty vegetable peeler and pick up a Y-shaped one, which has a blade running horizontal to the handle. “Using an old-school peeler takes forever,” Izard explains. Especially on root vegetables.


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