Swede and Sweet Potato Mash


At this time of year, it can be a little difficult finding seasonal produce from the UK. Swede hasn’t perhaps got the best of reputations, which is a shame I think because it’s absolutely delicious in stews, soups and, as here, mashed with another vegetable. This recipe is simplicity itself and uses British Swede and Sweet Potatoes from Spain.

1 medium-sized swede

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes 

Pinch of sea salt 

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Peel* and dice the swede and thoroughly scrub the sweet potatoes, dice and add to the swede in a pan of boiling salted water.
  2. Boil until tender – this will depend on how large you have cut the chunks and the swede takes longer than the sweet potatoes. If you prefer you could cook the swede for 5 minutes before adding the potato but I don’t bother.
  3. When the swede is soft enough to mash (test with a skewer or sharp knife), drain off most of the water (leaving a tablespoon or so to soften the mash).  Begin to mash, adding a really good slug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and some freshly ground black pepper.
  4. I don’t make my mash completely smooth and of course, the skin doesn’t mash if you’ve left it on but it contains most of the goodness. Taste as you go and if necessary, add more EVOO.

*I was watching the first episode of Jamie Oliver’s Veg: Meatless Meals on Channel 4 Catchup (UK readers it was aired last year I think) and noticed that he scrubbed but didn’t peel the swede which made me wonder why I peeled a swede but not a sweet potato. Next time I won’t bother peeling either of them!

The first day I ate this with a slice of nut roast from the freezer and a Red Cabbage and Apple Casserole made in the slow cooker the day before. It was absolutely delicious.

The second day I ate it with a Marks & Spencer Plant Kitchen Mushroom Pie (which I wouldn’t normally buy but it was reduced and a dull, wet January day so I gave in to temptation). I put some mash into a small, ovenproof dish and scattered the top with Cajun Spice Powder and ground flaxseeds – because I happened to have some leftover from a previous recipe. I took the outer leaves off a big handful of Brussel sprouts sprinkled with EVOO, sea salt (I use Halen Mon) and black pepper. The whole lot fitted onto one baking tray and in it went for half an hour at Fan Oven 180.

Two more individual portions of mash are in the freezer awaiting their chance to shine.

A note about swede.  It’s called turnip in Scotland – don’t ask me why. I’m talking about that purplish round thing, not the smaller white veg which we call turnip. Haggis and neeps, popular in Scotland on Burns Night, is actually swede not turnip. Swede is often fed to cattle and, in my opinion, is grossly underrated in British cooking. It’s slightly spicy and peppery  (which is why it’s so good with sweet potato) and works well with ordinary potatoes. It’s also great with nutmeg, any other root vegetable, roasted garlic and carrots.

Until next time,

Karen O

P.S.  I’m trying to resist the Instagram world of food photos that look absolutely amazing but you couldn’t possibly eat them by the time the photo has been set up. I cook from scratch predominantly and don’t want to waste valuable eating time by taking photos. That said, bear with me, they will get better and I promise the food tastes absolutely delicious.

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