The humble swede is an often overlooked vegetable that, when cooked is surprisingly soft, delicate and sweet. In Britain it is often mashed and roasted, in Europe it is made into sauerruben, a cousin of sauerkraut.
This recipe is a variation of ‘brovada’ a fermented dish that is popular in north-east Italy using white turnips fermented in grape pomace. It is like sauerkraut but more delicate.
In this recipe we have used swedes instead of turnips. The taste is sweeter and the colour more golden than turnips. The grated swede is fermented in brown vinegar for a number of days and then cooked with onion and bay leaves.
Macerated and fermented, then cooked, the humble swede becomes a most delicious accompaniment for roasts, cotechino, kransky, sausages or any meat. Its mellow sweet and lightly tangy flavour is a perfectly delicious contrast to the fattiness of sausage or other roasted meats .
Delicious Swede Brovade
- 2 large swedes, washed, peeled and cut into quarters or thirdsaccording to size
- Brown vinegar
- 1 medium brown onion, chopped
- 3 large bay leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- small knob of butter
- Wash and dry the swedes then peel them carefully
- Cut the swedes into thirds or quarters depending on size
- Using a box grater (or other coarse grater) grate the swedes
- Place the grated swede in a large bowl
- Pour brown vinegar over the grated swede and stir through. Make sure that the swede is fully covered by the vinegar.
- Cover with cling wrap and set aside in cool place for 2 days ( or one day if the ambient temperature is too warm)
- When ready to cook the Brovada squeeze the grated swede and remove the excess vinegar, setting the swede aside in a bowl
- In a large frypan add the extra virgin olive oil and small knob of butter over a medium heat
- When the butter stops foaming add the chopped onion and cook till transluscent, about 6 minutes
- When the onion is ready add the squeezed swede and stir through the onion, seasoning with salt and freshly groound black pepper
- Add the 3 bay leaves and just a little liquid to stop the mixture catching
- Simmer covered for 30-45 minutes, keeping an eye and adding a little water as needed.
- The finished brovada should be tender with a delicious sweet and very slightly tangy taste and the liquid absorbed
- It can be served hot immediately to accompany kransky, cotechino, sausages or meat of any kind
- In the Friuli region of Italy brovada is traditionally served with ‘muset’, a large sausage that is like cotechino
The brovada keeps well in the fridge and will add a tang and zest even when served cold on a sandwich of your favourite cold meat, like roast pork or corned beef.
It is really easy to make so do give it a try!