A good mash doesn’t have to be boring or an afterthought. This vegan swede mash is a bowl of sweet, nutty goodness topped with lightly golden crispy fried garlic and a dash of delicate walnut oil.
- Why You’ll Love This Side Dish
- What Is Swede?
- What do Swedes Taste Like?
- Why Are Rutabagas Called Swedes?
- How To Cook Swedes?
- How To Make Swede Mash?
- Can This Swede Mash Be Frozen?
- Recipe Overview
- Variations and Substitutions
- Great Mains for This Side Dish
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love This Side Dish
Mashed vegetables make for the best and easiest side dish recipe for any dinner. They are also fantastic for mopping up any sauces. As much as we all love a good mashed potato, it’s always nice to try and mash up some other root vegetables.
Swede mash is a great alternative to mashed potatoes. It is less stodgy, lighter and fluffier and doesn’t feel so heavy. But if you do love a good potato mash, you can’t go past our Purple Mashed Potatoes.
This vegan swede mash recipe is really simple, and even without the butter and cream, it’s really delicious. Add crispy fried garlic slices on top and a drizzle of light and delicate walnut oil for the perfect finish.
What Is Swede?
Apart from someone who hails from Sweden, swedes are root vegetables that belong to the cruciferous family and therefore related to cauliflower, cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts etc.
The first known mention of this root vegetable was in the 17th century in Sweden. Well, maybe that’s why it’s called a swede! It is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage which is probably why so many people confuse it with a turnip.
Swede is also known by many other names, of which rutabaga is probably the other well-known name the North Americans call them. They are also known as yellow turnip, Swedish turnip or Russian turnip. The Scottish call them neeps and haggis; neeps and tatties are really famous dishes.
They are round in shape with green-purplish skin, and the flesh is light yellow. Like all root vegetables, they are firm when raw but can turn to mush when cooked. They are seasonal vegetables and can be found from autumn to winter.
What do Swedes Taste Like?
Swede’s flavour is that of a mix of well-known root vegetables. Raw, they are not as bitter as turnips and, when cooked, not quite as sweet as carrots. Yet, it encompasses both those flavours throughout.
Cooked swede is slightly sweet and is a bit nutty and even buttery.
Why Are Rutabagas Called Swedes?
In the mid-1800s, there was a huge migration of Swedish people to North America, which is when swedes were introduced into the American diet. They are called rutabaga as it stems from the Swedish word rotabagge. “Rot” means root, while “bagge” means a bunch.
How To Cook Swedes?
There are quite a few ways to cook swede, and it depends on how you wish to eat it. For a mash like this recipe, you’d boil the swede until they are soft enough to mash.
You can steam it for a truly healthy way of consuming swede, or you can even roast it like you would pumpkin or squash.
How To Make Swede Mash?
The principles of making swede mash are the same as making mashed potatoes except that it’s easier to make swede mash as you don’t have to worry about whether or not they are waxy or floury or work out which variety you would need.
You would start with cutting off the root ends of the swede, peel and then cut into large chunks. Add to boiling water for 20 minutes, drain and then mash with a potato masher or put it through a potato ricer.
Can This Swede Mash Be Frozen?
Yes! You can definitely freeze cooked swede mash. It would be best to freeze them in freezer bags. Take it out when required and let it defrost.
I would then decant it into a bowl or plate and put it in the microwave. This way will also dry up some excess water gained during the defrosting process.
Flavour/Texture: This swede mash has the same texture as many made from root vegetables. The level of smoothness depends very much on the kind of vegetable mash eater you are.
We like our mash rustic, and this includes the basic mashed potato. So, a quick mash with a simple potato masher is enough for us. If you like your mash really smooth, put the swede through a potato ricer.
Flavour wise, swede is sweet like a carrot, and yet it has a buttery, almost nutty flavour to it too. Make sure that every mouthful incorporates a slice of crispy fried garlic, which is simply so delicious!
Because of it’s slightly more subtle flavour, swedes make for great side dishes for lamb and side dishes for pork.
Ease: Mashed swedes are as easy as mashed potatoes. This is a vegan swede mash recipe, so no need to even worry about cream or butter, so that’s one less step to worry about.
Time: 20 minutes is cooking time to soften the swedes enough for mashing. You can move on to the fried garlic recipe while that is happening to maximise your time.
Ingredients you will need to make this Swede Mash side dish.
Swede: Grab 2 large swedes. To select the best swede, ensure they are firm and feel heavy to hold. In addition, the skin should be smooth and have no visible dents or significant browning.
Garlic: Nothing better than adding lightly golden garlic chips to a recipe. Slice the garlic clove thinly and watch as you’re frying them as they will turn lightly golden very quickly, and you don’t want to burn the fried garlic.
Walnut oil: Love this delicate, light and nutty flavoured oil. Just adding a little to flavour the swede mash slightly and to give it a bit of shine.
Variations and Substitutions
Swede substitute: If you can’t find swede, the best substitute would be turnip. You could also try parsnip as the next best thing. Alternatively, if having the swede on its own is not as popular, you can add some carrots. Carrot and swede mash is absolutely delicious!
Parsley replacement: You can replace flat leaf parsley for coriander, chervil or tarragon.
Avocado oil alternative: Any vegetable oil to fry the garlic would be suitable. Try not to use an oil that is overly aromatic as you want to hero the intense flavours of the garlic.
Smoother swede mash: Put it through a potato ricer if you would like your mash to be ultra-smooth.
Walnut oil substitute: You can use olive oil instead of walnut oil if you don’t have any handy. It just rounds off the mash nicely and gives it a bit of shine when mixed through. Alternatively, you can omit altogether.
Non-vegan version: This is a vegan swede mash recipe; however, if you love adding butter and cream to your mash, go ahead! Like potatoes, it will give it that extra creamy finish.
Step by step instructions for how to make Swede Mash.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil.
Peel the swedes and cut into large pieces.
Place in a saucepan, add some salt and cook for 20 minutes.
Peel the garlic cloves and slice thinly. Add 1 tbsp of avocado oil to a sauce and fry garlic cloves at medium heat until lightly golden. Set aside.
Pick the leaves of the flat leaf parsley and discard the stalk.
When the swede is done, drain, place back in the saucepan and roughly mash with a potato masher. Add ½ the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
Place swede mash into a shallow bowl. Add the slices of fried garlic and the rest of the parsley to one side.
Drizzle some walnut oil on top.
Great Mains for This Side Dish
What to serve with Swede Mash? Try these delicious recipes.
As the swede mash is not an over powering flavour, it’s a great side dish to have with deep flavoured mains such as this braised beef cheeks with shallot jus or bourbon pork medallions with mustard sauce. For meatless Mondays, you can try this pumpkin risotto that is so creamy and comforting.
Frequently Asked Questions
To peel a swede, start by cutting off the root ends. Then using a normal vegetable peel or potato peeler, peel it like an apple or potato.
In most cases, you will most likely be peeling the swede, so cut off the root ends of the swede and peel. Then depending on how you wish to cook the swede, there are many different ways to cut it.
For a mash, simply cut into chunks like you would a potato. You could use a mandoline and slice into large round discs or cut the discs into thin matchsticks using a knife. They could be cut into wedges, which is great for roasting or even grating to make a rosti type dish.
Swedes are highly nutritious and should form part of your regular diet. They contain vitamins C, E and K, are high in antioxidants, are fantastic for diabetes, weight loss and helps to build strong bones.
A swede is part turnip and from the same family. A swede is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage, and they do look somewhat similar, which has caused much confusion.
Turnips are usually a little smaller, and on the outside, they are lighter in colour while their flesh is white compared to the yellow flesh of a swede.
This is a great way to introduce a new vegetable to the family dinner table and spruce up your mash game. Swedes are a fantastic vegetable that we simply don’t eat enough of.
More Vegan Side Dishes
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Swede Mash and Fried Garlic
- 2 swede
- 2 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 sprig flat leaf parsley
- 1 tsp walnut oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil.
- Peel the swedes and cut into large pieces. Place in a saucepan, add some salt and cook for 20 minutes.
- Peel the garlic cloves and slice thinly. Add 1 tbsp of avocado oil to a sauce and fry garlic cloves at medium heat until lightly golden. Set aside.
- Pick the leaves of the flat leaf parsley and discard the stalk.
- When the swede is done, drain, place back in the saucepan and roughly mash with a potato masher. Add ½ the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly.
- Place swede mash into a shallow bowl. Add the slices of fried garlic and the rest of the parsley to one side.
- Drizzle some walnut oil on top.
- If you can’t find swede, the best substitute would be turnip. Alternatively, if having the swede on its own is not as popular, you can add some carrots. Carrot and swede mash is absolutely delicious!
- You can replace flat leaf parsley for coriander, chervil or tarragon.
- Any vegetable oil to fry the garlic would be suitable. Try not to use an oil that is overly aromatic as you want to hero the intense flavours of the garlic.
- If you would like your mash to be ultra-smooth, put it through a potato ricer.
- You can use olive oil instead of walnut oil if you don’t have any handy. It just rounds off the mash well and gives it a bit of shine when mixed through. Alternatively, you can omit altogether.
- This is a vegan swede mash recipe; however, if you love adding butter and cream to your mash, go ahead! Like potatoes, it will give it that extra creamy finish.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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Garlic and swede, what’s not to love?
The Devil Wears Salad
I couldn’t agree more!
Shilpi & Etienne
This swede mash sounds and looks amazing!! I grew up knowing this vegetable as Turnip since that’s what we call it in India. Will definitely be giving this recipe a go! Thanks for all the useful tips.
The Devil Wears Salad
You’re not alone when it comes to calling this turnip! A lot of people do actually. Hope the recipe turned out well for you.
I have never thought about doing a swede mash before but this turned out great!
The Devil Wears Salad
That’s awesome Kayla! Glad you liked it. Just a better alternative than potatoes if you’re after something less starchy.