What on earth is a rutabaga? You may have asked yourself this question as you fondled these lovely round vegetables at pick-up today, trying to decide which one to choose. Perhaps a better question is what in earth is a rutabaga, since this mysterious vegetable is a root! Rutabaga is part of the Brassica family, which includes turnip, cabbage and kale. The rutabaga is of European and Siberian origin, and it was introduced to this country in the early 19th century. They are available in the Northeast in the fall and early winter.
Rutabagas are high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important in immune response, wound healing, and allergic reactions. Vitamin C also helps with iron absorption.
White potatoes, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, and/or beets
Salt & pepper
Garlic cloves, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use whatever amount of each root vegetable that you want or have. Cut the vegetables into strips like french fries. Put them in a bowl and toss with enough canola oil to coat them lightly. Sprinkle with chili powder, garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Toss to combine. Spread vegetables on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until tender. Serve with vinegar or ketchup.
Oriental-Style Rutabaga and Carrot Slaw
3 cups grated rutabaga
3 cups grated carrots
3 green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon hot oriental chili paste (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts
In a large bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together. Add rutabaga, carrot and green onion and toss to combine. Season with salt & pepper and sprinkle with seeds or nuts to serve.
Peppery Rutabaga Treat
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 lb rutabaga, peeled and finely diced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
salt to taste
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add honey, the rutabaga and pepper. Cook covered until rutabaga is tender and lightly browned (about 10 minutes). Sprinkle with parsley and salt and serve.
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