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Swedes are a convenience food in their own right.
It takes just a matter of minutes to pull one from your garden, peel, chop and have it cooking. The fact that these are one of the easiest of veg to grow makes it an all round winner. You may think of them as a root crop but they are in fact part of the cabbage family. Only a small part of the root is buried, the rest is above ground. Give them about a 10cm spacing and then harvest alternate plants from the autumn leaving the rest with a wider spacing to grow on. These larger swedes can be lifted from December onwards. No one is certain about the origins of swedes although their name is a big hint. The American name, Rutabaga, also has its roots in the Swedish language. Yes I agree that they suffer from a school dinner reputation but at home our roasted swede slices, tossed in a little bit of oil and mixed spices are a delicious delight. They even have two books named after them (Carl Sandburg: Rootabaga Stories  & Rootabaga Pigeons ) and don’t forget Frank Zappa who sang the praises of vegetables with the refrain “rooooootabaaaaga.” Why not take the hint and give them a go!
Naughty Baked Cheesy Swede (with cream)
Mix 2 tsp plain flour, 1 tsp ground pepper, 1tsp ground coriander or cumin, salt to taste (no more than 1tsp). You can also add a little crushed garlic if you wish or dried mustard powder. Peel and thinly slice 450g of swede and coat with the flour mix. Grease an oven proof dish and layer the swede slices with grated cheese finishing with a cheese layer. You will need 85-100g of cheese. Dot with marg or butter and pour on 500ml of single cream! For a crispier topping you can then sprinkle with bread crumbs or dry stiffing mix. Bake at 180 C for 60-90 minutes until tender (cover with foil if you water a paler crust) and serve. We like it with chicken, carrots or green veg for colour and mashed potato; it also goes very well with fish