Don’t Pass on Choosing Rutabaga

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Okay, so the rutabaga is not the most glamorous choice at the Farmer’s Market, but just give it a try once and you will see why many love the slight bite that rutabaga provides to a dish.  What is a Rutabaga anyway you ask??  Rutabaga is in the same family as turnips and cabbage.  Technically, rutabaga is actually a direct cross between cabbage and turnips, and it shares turnips’ slightly bitter flavor. Raw rutabaga tastes milder than turnips though, almost like a carrot without sweetness. It’s crisp, juicy, with just a tiny bitter bite.

 

Rutabaga performs best when cooked.  The rutabaga has a more mellow, golden appearance than turnips or potatoes, and when cooked it turns sweet yet savory — like the richest golden potato you can imagine. It’s less starchy, but still very satisfying.

 

The best news is of course the nutritional value provided by this often overlooked vegetable.  Rutabaga aids in cancer prevention and contains phytochemicals that remove carcinogens from the body and help the liver process toxins. They are high in antioxidants, one cup of rutabaga provides over 50% the DV of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant known to boost the immune system and prevent illness and disease.

 

The rutabaga is high in fiber, which helps support the body’s digestive system and are high in potassium.  Potassium helps promote bone strength, aids in energy production and supports heart health and a healthy metabolism.  And last but definitely not least they are low in calories and considered a nutrient rich food, which will make a healthy addition to your weight loss program. 

 

Next time you visit your local Farmer’s Market be sure to give the rutabaga a try. 

Crock Pot Cabbage and Rutabaga Soup

1/4 large head cabbage, chopped

1/4 large rutabaga, diced

1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta

1/2 large onion, finely chopped

1 whole head garlic, peeled and minced

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

6 cups water

2 cups vegetable broth

 

Place cabbage, rutabaga, orzo pasta, onion, garlic dill, water and vegetable broth in a slow cooker.  Cover the cooker and cook on Low until vegetables are tender and soup is thickened, 5 to 9 hours.

 

 

Oven Baked Rutabaga Fries

Rutabagas

Olive Oil

Salt, garlic powder, and paprika

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Peel rutabagas with a paring knife and slice in 1/4″ rounds. If you like, you can do them in strips – they will cook a little faster, but you have to watch them carefully or they’ll burn. Toss with oil and a little salt and put them on a nonstick baking sheet.

 

Cook about 12 minutes, turning twice. Take out when golden brown and tender. Immediately sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika. I like to add kosher salt at the end as well.

 

Mashed Potatoes and Rutabaga

2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2- inch pieces

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups half-and-half, warmed Kosher salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

8 scallions, white and green parts, chopped, plus extra, whole, for garnish

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups fresh, unseasoned breadcrumbs

 

Cover the rutabaga and potatoes with cold, generously salted water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender, about 30 minutes.

 

Drain the vegetables and return to the pot over low heat. Stir in 8 tablespoons butter. Mash with a potato masher, ricer or food mill until smooth, adding the warm half-and-half and 2 teaspoons salt. Keep warm while preparing breadcrumbs.

 

Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the lemon zest and scallions. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the parsley and breadcrumbs and cook over medium-low heat, stirring until evenly toasted, 3 to 4 more minutes. (If the breadcrumbs toast too quickly, reduce the heat.)

 

Transfer the mashed vegetables to a large shallow platter and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs just before serving. Garnish with scallion slices. (To curl them, julienne whole scallions and place in ice water.)

 

Chili Roasted Rutabaga

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 1/2 lbs. rutabagas

 

Heat oven to 400. Mix first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Peel rutabagas and cut them into chunks that are 2 inches long and ½-1 inch wide.

Toss with the spice mix.

 

Transfer to a large baking sheet, spreading pieces out evenly.

Bake until tender and somewhat browned, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

 

Veggie Garden Pie
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, cut into 1″ chunks
2 medium turnips — cut into 1″ chunks
1 tablespoon oil
2 stalks celery, sliced
12 cloves garlic, peeled
8 ounces mushrooms, halved
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
salt and pepper
melted margarine, optional

Preheat oven to 400. In a shallow 2-quart casserole dish, toss together onion, carrots, turnips, and oil. Roast uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add celery and garlic and roast 15 minutes more. Add mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme, stirring to coat all vegetables. Roast for an additional 15 minutes.

While vegetables roast, boil potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, reserving 1/2 cup of the potato water. Mash or whip, using potato water as necessary to achieve a creamy consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove casserole from oven and change oven setting to broil. Spread potatoes over roasted vegetables. Drizzle with melted margarine if desired. Place under broiler to lightly brown top, 1 to 2 minutes.

 

What’s Happening at the Lenoir County Farmer’s Market? 

Come visit this Saturday November 9th around 11:00 a.m. and order your custom made live wreath from Donna McGee, they will be delivered on December 3rd. 

 

Fabulous News, our very own home town star chef, Vivian Howard, from Chef and the Farmer Restaurant and “A Chef’s Life” PBS Series, will make a visit on Saturday, November 23, and will be preparing and sharing recipes for Thanksgiving side dishes!!