Ingredient of the week: Swede

Once used as fodder for cattle, the humble, orange-fleshed swede – rotabagge in Swedish, which is why in some countries it's known as a rutabaga – is gracing our tables again. It has many uses in the kitchen once you've got through its thick skin, something best achieved with a sharp knife.

Try boiling diced swede for about 20 minutes and mashing it with carrots, lots of butter and a sprinkling of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Alternatively, slice thinly and bake with cream, parmesan and nutmeg for an unctuous variation on the classic dauphinoise. For a healthier version, use stock and softened onions and serve it as a boulangere. Or, if you're feeling really swedey, have a go at steaming it, then pan-frying with a little sugar until golden brown.

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