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Cashew cream made with spinach, lemon, and garlic is the perfect complement to crispy baked rutabaga fries!
I’m not joking when I say that I practically ate the whole tray of these baked fries after I tested them earlier today! Oh my gosh, they were incredible. And the dipping sauce? YUM.
But let’s back up a second first, because there might be a few ingredients you aren’t too familiar with in this recipe. For one, there’s rutabaga. I’ve used it in recipes on here before (like my Spiralized Rutabaga Breakfast Bowls from last winter and my Raw Rutabaga Salad with Apples from this fall), but I’ll give you a little refresher before we proceed.
What is Rutabaga?
Rutabaga, also known as swede, is a root vegetable that tastes similar to a turnip, but with a less pungent flavor. It likes the cold! So, it’s often grown in the Midwest and northern United States. Rutabaga has a yellow flesh and white/brown/purple skin. I personally love the taste of rutabaga, and I encourage you to try it!
How to Make Rutabaga Fries
It’s so easy to make homemade rutabaga fries. You really just need to find a rutabaga, peel it, slice it into fries, toss the fries in olive oil and seasonings, and bake them in the oven.
To slice the rutabaga into perfect fries:
- After you peel it, cut it into 1/4″-1/2″ slices.
- Stack those slices on top of each other and then slice them into fries.
- It works best if you are using all “flat” slices on top of each other. If you have some slices that contain the rounded rutabaga sides, you can slice those separately so they don’t make the whole stack slippery/more difficult to cut.
Now that you’re a rutabaga expert, let’s talk about the spinach cashew cream I paired with these fries. If you do a lot of plant-based cooking, you may know that cashews can be used to make things incredibly creamy. I’ve seen ’em used in soups, sauces, dips, smoothies, and more.
In this recipe, I blended soaked cashews with spinach, lemon, and garlic for a droolworthy cashew cream that’s perfect for dipping fries. It would also taste amazing on pasta, salmon, drizzled on top of a burrito bowl, etc. Who knows how many applications it could have!
How to Make Spinach Cashew Cream
To make the cashew cream, you will need to soak your cashews in a bowl with enough water to cover them for 2 to 3 hours at room temperature. This will make them soft enough to blend.
BUT if you’re like me and constantly running out of time/forgetting to soak your cashews 2 hours before making a recipe, you can try a quick soak. To do this, you will need to boil water and then remove it from heat for a few minutes so that it stays very hot but not boiling hot. You can then can soak the cashews in that water for 15-30 minutes. I’ve used both methods, and each has worked for me!
Tools for Making Spinach Cashew Cream
You can use any blender to make the cream after you soak the cashews, but high-powered blenders like the Vitamix work best.
Ok, onto the recipe. Here it is!
Baked Rutabaga Fries with Spinach Cashew Cream
For the cashew cream:
- 1 cup cashews - soaked for 2-3 hours or quick-soaked for 15 minutes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 lemon - juiced
- 1 tsp lemon zest - from about 1/2 of a lemon
- 1 cup spinach - loosely packed
- 1/2 cup water - more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare the rutabaga by slicing off the ends, peeling it, and then slicing it into 1/4-1/2" slices. Stack the slices on top of each other (this may not work if they start to slip) and slice into fries. Transfer the fries to the baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and season with sea salt.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the fries get crispy and begin to brown.
- While the fries are baking, make the cashew cream by combining the soaked cashews, garlic, lemon juice and zest, spinach, and water in a food processor or high-powered blender. Blend for 60 to 90 seconds or until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Serve the fries warm with the cashew dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Pin these Baked Rutabaga Fries now, so you can make them later!