Rutabagas, like brussels sprouts, are an often-mistreated winter vegetable with a lot of untapped potential--and, also like brussels sprouts, they play better with fat than with water. Tonight, one option: tiny cubes of rutabaga browned in butter with some fried onions and righteoused-out with ribbons of dark kale. Rutabagas respond well to smoky flavors and are frequently paired with bacon--our smoky flavor comes from smoked Spanish paprika. It's probably delicious with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
This dish cooks up pretty quickly because we chopped the rutabaga into 1/2-inch dice. But we can do this without much effort with our french fry cutter, and if you don't have the time, desire or gadgets to wrangle a rutabaga into uniform tiny pieces, you can chop into larger cubes and just cook longer (you may need extra butter, or some water or stock). Make sure to peel the rutabaga well--the skin is pretty thick and sometimes waxed (yuck!).
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 an onion, sliced into thin half-moons
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large rutabaga, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
10 leaves kale (we used dinosaur kale, but any kind is OK), sliced into thin ribbons
Melt half the butter and oil in a large skillet or frying pan on medium-high heat. When butter has melted, add onions and whole garlic cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until onions are starting to brown, like this:
Add the rest of the butter and oil, rutabaga cubes, salt, pepper, and paprika to the skillet and stir well. Turn the heat down to medium, cover tightly and cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until rutabagas are tender (it will take longer if your chunks are large). Uncover, add kale, and stir quickly for 1-2 minutes until kale is wilted. Adjust salt and pepper as desired. Eat.