How to Cook Rutabaga
A pleasant twist to your average root vegetable. A lot like a turnip, rutabaga can be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, pureed, or mashed.
Rutabaga is also known as swede or swedish turnip or neep and it originated as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. It tastes similar to a turnip. If you didn’t know you were eating it, you’d think you had a flavorful potato.
I grew up hearing my grandmother talk about rutabaga a lot and if you’re in France or Germany, it’s considered a food of last resort because it was a cheap, readily available food during the war and everyone got tired of it after a while.
Rutabaga can be roasted, boiled, baked, pureed or mashed like potatoes. It can also be thinly julienned and eaten raw.
On my gargantuan rutabaga, it’s covered in a wax, which is pretty common in the US. We cover produce in wax to keep it from drying out. This is really thick wax, so I won’t be able to scrub it off. I’ll have to scrape it off.
Now the skin of a rutabaga is like large turnips - really thick and needs to be cut off with a knife, not peeler. I scrape off the wax and peel it in separate stages because otherwise, it’s extremely messy.
1.5-2 pounds of rutabaga
3 small yellow-fleshed potatoes
2 tablespoons butter (or oil for vegan option)
2 leeks, white parts only, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
4 thyme sprigs or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1.5 teaspoons salt
6 cups water or Basic Vegetable Stock
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half (optional)
Freshly milled white pepper
Peel the rutabaga and potatoes, quarter, and thinly slice them.
Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the rutabaga, potatoes, leeks, garlic, parsley, and thyme.
Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the salt and the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
Puree all or just part of the soup, depending on whether you like a smooth soup or one with some texture. Stir in the milk, if using.
Try this mashed 'baga recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/mashed_rutabaga_with_sour_cream_and_dill/