Most of the food items in our local shops are pretty recognizable to us… but what is “lanttu”? Turns out that it is rutabaga, otherwise known as a swede. While I’m fairly sure that I’ve eaten swedes in soups before, the lanttu here are much bigger that any swedes I’ve seen back in South Africa. We picked up a lanttu and another “new” vegetable, the artichoke, a few weeks ago and enjoyed them as a Saturday lunch.
I tried a “refried ruataga in syrup” recipe (you can find the recipe here on the interesting Finnish vegan recipe site, Mämmi), which I had seen on a previous occasion. It all worked pretty well, and despite cooking a full kilogram of rutabga we only had a small helping of leftovers remaining. But be warned, rutabaga can have a rather strong sweet smell (based on our one experience…), which could overwhelm less strongly flavoured foods. I’d be interested to try rutabaga chips some day – will review the recipe if it turns out well.
Finding out how to cook the artichoke was a more of a challenge – I found recipes varying in cooking time from 3 minutes to three quarters of an hour. Putting the whole artichoke in the microwave for 5 minutes at full power worked fine – that’s my recommendation now (based on our one experience…). Pulling the leaves (succulent scales) off one at a time and dipping them in mayonnaise made for lovely and tasty bites (lots more artichoke and dip recipes to test). By the time we reached the heart of the artichoke we were rather full, and I can say that I paid much attention to what is supposedly the best part of this vegetable.
Not the wildest and more exotic vegetables, but it was nice to try something new!