Make Ahead Side: Non-Potato Mash Featuring Cardamom

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Here’s an awesome make-ahead side that will definitely help to switch things up at any dinner or your next holiday feast.

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This would pair nicely with any wintery roast and can be prepared in advance and heated up in the oven or in the microwave if oven real estate is scarce.

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Cardamom is a spice that reminds me of my Amah. It would sort of show up everywhere, in both savory and sweet foods. Whole pods were used in her spicy curries and nestled into the Basmati rice of her Biryanis and I’d often catch a whiff of it from her Chai Tea. I’d also find it in really odd places including IKEA cookies – weird!

Spicy Fact: After India and the Middle East, did you know that Scandinavia is the third largest consumer of Cardamom?

I never quite appreciated its versatility and in an effort to share something new or old or just cool, here’s an interesting way to use it to flavor a savory dish! Careful though, the beauty or cardamom is in its subtlety and balance. Too much cardamom could overwhelm resulting in a dish laced with a minty menthol smack in the face.

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Fall Baked Non-Potato Mash Featuring Cardamom

  • 2 lbs turnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 and no more than 2 cardamom pods
  • 3 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and chopped
  • Pinch of ground cardamom and nutmeg, optional
  • 3 Tbsp butter, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or full fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced or 2 Tbsp chopped chives.

In a large deep pan, combine the apple juice, turnip, onions and the cardamom pods. Cook covered on medium until turnips are very soft. About 30 minutes. Add the pear in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

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Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drain the apple juice from the pan, reserving for later and remove the cardamom pods.

Add the ground cardamom, nutmeg (if using) and 1 Tbsp of the butter to the hot pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and pop the pan into the hot oven.

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Roast for 35 minutes until nicely browned and pears are soft.

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Add the remaining butter and cream to the pan and using a potato masher, roughly mash the roasted veggies. Add a bit of the reserved apple juice to thin if necessary. Season with more salt and pepper.

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Scrape the mash into a warmed dish and serve immediately or crank the broiler to get a bit of char on the top. Garnish with green onion or chives.

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The mash can be prepared to this point up to 3 days in advance.

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Reheat in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through.

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