How to cook a swede is one of the main questions people ask about this root vegetable – well, I’ve got a surprising answer. Don’t cook it. You can actually eat swede raw and it’s good.
Now I have an affection for swede. It reminds me of my nan – she used to make stew with swede in it so whenever I see it I think of her – but despite this, I never eat it now. I seem to remember that stew took A LONG time to cook and so swede has been tarred with the complicated and faffy brush in my eyes. Still there was this tiny mention this month’s Healthy Food Guide magazine as to how swede actually works well raw and grated in salad – so, for today’s lunch I decided to find out.
A few minutes of grating later I was left with something that looked like anaemic carrot on top of my rocket. It wasn’t pretty, hence my not photographing it. Tastewise though – not bad. It’s got the same crunch as carrot but is a bit more earthy. I think it would be particularly good mixed with tuna, beans and some grilled peppers – all which I’ve got in the cupboard so I might try that one tomorrow. Despite that though I still think I prefer it cooked – not least because grated swede sounds like something that happens in a Stieg Larsson novel.
Oh, and if you do need to know how to cook swede – you can boil it or roast it. It also works really well boiled then mashed like potatoes. I’m also a massive fan of adding swede to stew or slow cooked soups, it goes really soft and absorbs all the flavours of the liquid you’re cooking it in. Next thing you know they’ll be more swedes in your house than an Abba reunion.
image: istockphoto.com @ Stuart Sneddon