A simple but tasty and colourful winter side dish. No need for fancy equipment and no need to roast or fry. Just chop, boil and smash. Carrot and swede mash is delicious just as it is.
Carrot and swede mash is a traditional British side dish. It makes a great accompaniment to all sorts of meals, but it works particularly well with a roast dinner. It’s really just a pan of cooked carrots and swede that are then mashed with butter and pepper. But it’s so much greater than the sum of its parts.
When sun is at its lowest ebb and light is at a premium, the bright orange glow emanating from the veg feeds the eye as well as the body. Do try it if you haven’t already.
When is a Swede not a Swede?
Well a swede is always a swede, but it’s not necessarily a turnip. A turnip is usually small and white, whilst a swede is large and orange. But it is confusing. In Cornwall and northern England the swede is often referred to as a turnip. The name is, apparently, short for Swedish turnip. But it goes by other names too. The Scots call it neeps, whilst in North America it’s called rutabaga.
Carrot and Swede Mash
The traditional recipe for carrot and swede mash is for equal measures of carrot and swede. You don’t really need to be too exact about this though. If you have a bit more of one and a bit less of the other, it’s not going to make a big difference.
For this recipe I’ve gone with a whole swede, weighing 600g and 500g of carrots. As the carrots are only topped and tailed whilst the swede is also peeled, it’s not going to have that big an effect in the end.
Although I like to keep as much peel on my veg as I can, as that’s where many of the nutrients lie, swede skin is just a bit too tough. It really needs peeling. Carrots, on the other hand, don’t. Just give them a good scrub.
You will need a large sturdy knife to cut the swede though. It can be quite tough.
I add a bayleaf and a little salt to the pan along with enough water to almost, but not quite, cover the vegetables. Less water means you retain more of the flavour and nutrients. Once cooked and drained, then mash with your favourite implement.
My mother uses a simple hand masher. I use a stick blender to pulse the mixture so that it doesn’t get too smooth. We like a bit of texture to our carrot and swede mash. However, if you prefer a smooth purée, blend for longer or use a jug blender.
For a dairy-free or vegan version, just replace the butter with olive oil. Some people add nutmeg. I’m one of those. Just a little nutmeg gives quite a lift. I also cook my carrots and neeps with a bay leaf. This also adds flavour without overwhelming the sweetness of the veg. Who needs sweet potatoes?
What Goes With Carrot and Swede Mash?
Carrot and swede mash will be one of the side dishes present on our Christmas table this year. My mother is coming up to stay over the festive period and in her eyes no Christmas dinner is complete without carrots and neeps. Having said that, it’s a really delicious dish which I’m more than happy to include. It will accompany my lentil nut roast, this braised red cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and a whole heap of other delights.
This batch of carrot and swede mash accompanied sausages and mushroom gravy last night. It was delicious. In fact, the mash was so good all by itself, I couldn’t help but tuck into a bowlful for lunch yesterday. There are leftovers and they will probably have an egg and some flour added to make some sort of pancakes or fritters. Then again I might just turn it into soup. This stuff is versatile.
Other than an accompaniment to a roast dinner, carrot and swede mash can be used as a straight swap for mashed potatoes. As well as sausages, it works well with pies and you can even use it to top a shepherd’s pie.
Carrot and Swede Mash Benefits
- Diabetic friendly – substitute for mashed potatoes.
- Nutritious – contains dietary fibre and is rich in various antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and B6.
- Cheap – neither swede nor carrots cost very much which makes this a frugal but delicious side dish.
- Adaptable – make it dairy-free or vegan, if required. Just swap the butter for olive oil. Adjust the salt to suit your taste and health requirements. Add nutmeg or not. Vary the ratio of swede to carrot. I could go on.
- Make in advance and just reheat in the oven when needed.
- Delicious leftovers – use to top a shepherd’s pie, turn into soup or make pancakes. Alternatively bake some savoury muffins.
Other Swede Recipes You Might Like
I’m astonished to find I have no swede recipes on Tin and Thyme – until now. Swede is a much underrated vegetable and it’s a shame it’s not used more than it is. It can easily be included in stew-type recipes such as my end of season vegetable stew with mushroom dumplings.
- Cajun-spiced swede chips via Cook Veggielicious
- Curried root vegetable soup via Fab Food 4 All
- Ginger swede cake via Sneaky Veg
- Maple roasted swede via Cook Veggielicious
- Swede nutmeg cake with brown butter frosting via Veggie Desserts
- Swede soup via Thinly Spread
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this carrot and swede mash, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
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Carrot and Swede Mash – The Recipe
Carrot and Swede Mash
- 1 small swede - about 600g
- 500 g carrots
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 25 g salted butter (or 1 tbsp olive oil for dairy-free)
- good fresh grating of nutmeg - about ¼ tsp
- good grinding of black pepper - about ⅛ tsp
- Peel the swede, then chop the flesh into rough cubes - about 1 ½ cm sq.
- Scrub the carrots well, then top and tail. No need to peel. Chop into similar sized piece to the swede.
- Place in a large lidded pan along with the bay leaf and salt.
- Almost, but not quite, cover with water. Bring to the boil with the lid on then simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the cubes are cooked, but not mushy. You can test by inserting a knife into a cube of each. If it goes in easily, it's done.
- Drain through a colander, reserving the cooking liquid for gravy or soup. Allow to steam dry a little, then return to the pan. Add the butter, nutmeg and pepper and mash to your desired consistency.
I’m sharing this delicious dish of carrots and neeps with Lost in Food for #CookBlogShare.