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Don’t let rutabaga be the root vegetable that gets lost in the shuffle. Resembling an overgrown turnip but has pale yellow flesh while the turnip has white, a coarser, firm texture, which makes it hard to cut. Typically 3 to 5 inches in diameter, rutabagas have a thin skin that is usually pale yellow with tints of purple. When cooked, the flesh yields a slightly sweet flavour and becomes a brighter orange colour.
HOW TO CHOOSE
Like other root vegetables, rutabagas are available year-round, although the peak growing season is between July through April. The winter months nip them with cold weather, turning them sweet.
Desiring the sweetest flavour, look for ones 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Regardless, make sure the root feels heavy for its size, firm and has a smooth and unblemished skin with no sign of wrinkling or shrivelling. Rutabagas harvested in autumn may be coated with a food-grade wax that is used to seal in the moisture and preserve the freshness and colour over winter.
Rinse and scrub rutabagas just before using, and peel if the skin is thick or wax coated. To remove the skin, peel with a sharp knife. An alternative peeling method is to slice off top and lay the flat surface on the cutting board. Cut into small sections, then peel.Before Cutting Puncture the flesh with a fork to add sets of holes in the vegetable. Wrap the rutabaga in paper towel and microwave a high setting for 5 minutes or so. Remove the vegetable, which is now ready to slice, chop, or dice according to how it will be cooked.
It’s amazing how many complimentary uses there are for rutabagas:
Great when steamed, boiled, baked, mashed and sautéed.
Boil cubed rutabagas until tender, and then toss with raisins, chopped walnuts, and a little honey.
Are especially good when mashed with an equal amount of potatoes.
Lend themselves especially well as an addition to roasts, soups, stews, and to dishes that include a bit of sweetness, such as honey or dried fruit.
Even sweeter when roasted , they’re delicious as a side dish with other root vegetables.
Total Fat: 0.28g
*Excellent source of: Vitamin C (35mg)
*Good source of: Potassium (472mg), and Vitamin A (812 IU)
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value
The rutabaga was known in England as ‘turnip-rooted cabbage’ until early in the 19th century. At that time, however, Sweden began exporting them, which changed their nickname to ‘swedes’.
The Scots were adamant that they were a type of turnip, so their name for rutabas was ‘neeps’.