Spring lamb is worth the wait. And though it is spring time and this is the season for lamb, we pair it with a fall root vegetable. Why? Because of a tradition that must have been handed down from days of the root cellar. While lamb is a spring meat crop, rutabagas a fall crop that has wintered over in the cellar. When spring comes it is time to clean out the cellar and make room for the new crops. That is our “guess” as to why rutabaga pairs so naturally with spring lamb.


  • 2 pounds rutabaga, peeled, diced

  • 1/2 large or 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons EVOO or salted butter, or combination
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, coriander




Bring 1/2 gallon of water to boil in large stock pot. Add 1 tablespoon salt; stir to combine. Drop in prepared rutabaga and onion. Cook until tender approximately 30 minutes. Check with tip of knife blade which should slide all the way through easily. Remove from heat and drain. Place drained rutabaga back into pot for a few seconds to dry up an water that clings. Add EVOO or Butter or Combo. Smash manually with heavy duty masher.

Chef note: we like a rough mash, rather than puree, so we can see the vegetables clearly and know what they are. Cooked rutabaga cut into 3/4″ dice are less fibrous than larger diced ones but it will always be a little fibrous.

Serve as a base for a braised Spring Lamb Shank, with pan sauce and gremolata.


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