This dish is easy, impressive, and tasty–the perfect culinary trifecta. The great thing is that you probably already have all these ingredients at home. It’s lovely on it’s own as a snack or appetizer (it is a typical Spanish tapas-style small plate), or you can use it as a base to build a bigger meal. I’m thinking add on a fried egg for a fancy brunch or some pan-seared chicken thighs and a side salad for dinner. I took the initiative to try out all these options on your behalf, and you won’t be disappointed.
Patatas bravas is a spicy potato dish native to Spain, but you know I like to be complicated and switch things up a little. I chose to replace the typical white potato with its cool cousin, rutabaga, which comes from the Brassica family of turnips and cabbage. It’s a good option in that it’s less starchy with fewer carbs per ounce (approximately 1.6 net carbs), and it has a nice slightly bitter-piquant flavor profile that pairs well with the sweetness from the tomato sauce. This dish would also work well with butternut squash, sweet potato, or even radishes.
What really makes the dish, in my opinion, is the tomato sauce, and it’s SO EASY. I learned this amazing little shortcut from Minimalist Baker to use tomato paste as a sauce starter. Why did I not know this?! It makes so much sense that it’s embarrassing, and I always have tomato paste in the pantry in case I need to give a tomato sauce some extra tomatoey flavor. Ay yai yai.
I got 4 servings out of 2 huge rutabaga with lots of leftover sauce that I used to slather onto other meals. Save the extra sauce to repurpose later, or just make extra potatoes depending on how big of a crowd you’re feeding. I didn’t have any mayonnaise at home, but a little bit of mayo drizzled on top or served on the side would make this dish extra decadent. Hope you enjoy!
- 2 large rutabaga, cubed into bite-sized pieces
- Garlic powder
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 (6)-ounce can tomato paste
- 1/2 medium white onion, diced
- 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp paprika powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Soak cubed rutabaga in hot water for 15 minutes (I used an electric kettle to heat water). Remove rutabaga and dry thoroughly. Transfer rutabaga to a large mixing bowl and coat with 2-3 tbs olive oil and mix well, making sure all the cubed pieces are coated. Transfer rutabaga to a lined baking sheet and season well with salt and garlic powder. Bake for 1 hour, flipping the rutabaga after 30 minutes, and checking for doneness every 10 minutes after the first half hour. Rutabaga is done once it's golden-brown on the outside and fork-tender on the inside.
- While the rutabaga bakes, get started on the tomato sauce. Add 2 tbs olive oil to a pan over medium heat and once hot, add diced onion. Cook for 5 minutes until onions become translucent. Lower heat to low-medium and add garlic, spices, and tomato paste. Stir mixture for about 30 seconds, then add water and apple cider vinegar. Allow tomato sauce to simmer for 15 minutes, and then using an immersion blender, blend mixture until smooth. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Remove rutabaga from oven and serve, using a large spoon to drizzle tomato sauce generously over rutabaga. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.