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.
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’.