Last saturday at the farmers market I found myself drawn to the beautiful root vegetables: purple potatoes, multi-colored heirloom carrots, and purple kohlrabi (technically not a root, but uh, close enough).
First I thought I would roast them with a moroccan spice mix, but then I picked up a bunch of rakkyo. Rakkyo is halfway between an onion and garlic, and is commonly used in asian cooking. In fact, after surfing the internet, the main way I saw it prepared was pickling.
But I didn’t feel like pickling anything, and when it came time to make my veggies for dinner I didn’t want them roasted. My mind instead kept on wandering back to these delicious garlic mashed potatoes that I had last weekend at Handlebar Cafe. My thoughts were, well Rakkyo is like garlic, so why not use that instead! Besides, my roots would be equally good boiled and mashed.
Rakkyo is normally eaten vinegary and pickled. Considering that with my giant crush on vinegar, I figure if rakkyo mashed roots are good, vinegar-rakkyo mashed roots would be even better! Next thing I know, I’ve come up with a delicious and colorful recipe. The softness of the mashed roots, chewiness of the potato skins, the slight crunch of the fried rakkyo. The flavor of vinegar isn’t strong in the dish, instead enhancing the flavors around it.
Garlic or leeks would make a good substitution for the rakkyo if it isn’t available.
Rakkyo Tri-Colored Mashed Roots
Serves 2-4 as a side dish
2 medium sized purple kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
1 lb purple potatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
6 cups water (adjust as needed) + 1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup rakkyo sliced
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1. Place the chopped kohlrabi, potatoes, and carrots in a pot. Cover with water, salt, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce to a low heat for and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes until all three vegetables are soft.
2. Once cooked, drain the vegetables.
3. In a skillet large enough to contain the cooked vegetables, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the sliced rakkyo. Saute for 5 minutes until slightly browned.
4. Remove the skillet from the burner and add the cooked vegetables. Mash and mix together.
5. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder and cider vinegar. Mix together and adjust seasonings to taste.
6. Serve hot.