Rutabaga stands in for the eggplant usually called for in this distinctive salad/relish. Serve with grilled bread that has been brushed with olive oil, or homemade crackers.
Servings: 6 - 8
Yield: (makes 3 1/2 cups)
- 2 rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tablespoons currants
- 1 tablespoon golden raisins
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts *
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon grated bittersweet chocolate or cocoa powder (may use Dutch-process)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Toss the rutabaga with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake, turning once, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the rutabaga is tender but still somewhat firm. Set aside.
In a large pan over medium heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it is translucent, about 4 minutes, then add the garlic, shallot, currants and raisins, stirring to mix. Add the balsamic vinegar, scraping the pan to deglaze it and incorporate the addition. Add the roasted rutabaga, pine nuts, red pepper flakes, sugar to taste, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate or cocoa powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.
Adapted from chef Johnny Monis at Komi restaurant.
Tested by Margaret Roth.
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