What to do with Swede
Wednesday, 22nd January 2020 by Rachel
Swede root vegetable

Joining a climate-friendly vegbox scheme means learning to eat with the seasons and getting your head round all the produce that comes with that, some more challenging than others!

Swede is probably the nation's most misunderstood and overlooked vegetable. It doesn't help that it has various names. In America it's called a Rutabaga, in Scotland it's a Turnip.  It has the reputation of a large, unwieldy root that requires a lot of work for very little flavour return. I beg to differ and implore you to give the swede a second chance. For those of us living in temperate regions with long cold winters, this is a wonder veg, bringing us a fresh source of nutrients when the rest of the roots have been harvested before Christmas and subsequently sourced from winter storage.  

What does it taste like?

It has the sweetness of a carrot, the tartness of a radish and the texture of a turnip (another vegetable that gets a bad press!)

When roasted it’s flesh goes a deeper orange and it becomes sweeter, a bit like butternut squash, with a nutty, buttery flavor. It’s absolutely delicious. Trust me!


So here’s a compilation of recipes you could try out with your swede:


Indian style 

With some Indian spices, you can turn pretty much any vegetable into a delicious curry.

Cauliflower, swede and turnip curry

Spiced swede fritters

Swede saag



Fusion food

Try Anna Jones’ Swede creations – a Swede Carbonara and Maple & Black pepper roasted swede

Anna Jones' Swede Recipes

Honey-roasted swede with chilli & cumin



British fare

Neeps & Tatties

If you’re looking for something a bit more native, then try our super simple neeps and tatties recipe – a Scottish Burn’s Night favourite

Winter Harvest Vegetable Soup

Add some swede to this traditional chunky vegetable soup for a good old warming winter stew

Swede and spinach loaf (scroll to the bottom of the page)

Layers of swede interspersed with sprigs of thyme, wilted spinach and generous helpings of gruyere cheese. What's not to like?

Caroline's swede soup

A soup to warm hearts, minds and bodies on cold winter days, made by GC staffer Caroline.


South East Asian Flavours

Swede makes an unusual component to this Malaysian-spiced coconut broth but it totally works! If you want a speedy meal then you can buy a jar of laksa paste instead of making it from scratch. Thai orange or red curry paste would also work with this recipe.

Swede Laksa noodle soup

Swede and red lentil jungle curry

Peanut glazed swede with green cabbage and chilli noodles