Veg Box Day: 08/01/13

The first veg box of 2013! I hadn’t had one delivered for ages, because of being away over Christmas, so it’s nice to have fresh veg in the house again. This week I got the usual potatoes, carrots and onions, plus a yellow pepper, some vine tomatoes, a cucumber (I was meant to have lettuce but they replaced it with the cucumber – Hendrick’s o’clock, anyone?) and just about the biggest swede I have ever seen in my life.

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I haven’t made anything with my veg yet, but I have a feeling I might have to evoke the spirit of Christmas once more and make one of the dishes that graced our Finnish Christmas table on Christmas Eve. It’s a spiced swede casserole topped with breadcrumbs, and it’s delicious. On Christmas Eve it’s served with the traditional baked ham and potatoes and various other bits and pieces, but I’m sure it’ll make a comforting veggie meal all by itself.

Finnish swede casserole

1 large swede
1 cup cream (or a mixture of cream and milk)
1/2 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons dark syrup (we used a mixture of golden syrup and treacle)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Peel the swede and chop into large chunks. Boil in slightly salted water until soft.
2. Strain and mash or blend until smooth. Mix in the cream and breadcrumbs (reserving some for the top), dark syrup, beaten egg and spices to give a soft consistency.
3. Turn into a greased baking dish, press the surface with a fork to make a pattern and sprinkle the surface with a coating of breadcrumbs. Dot the top with butter and bake at 180C for about 60-90 minutes.
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