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Buttered Rutabaga with Herbs

Buttered Rutabaga with Herbs

Okay, it's January, and like everyone else I've been gravitating to a lighter, healthier style of food. I'll drift back, I know, but after the holidays and too many roasts, too much gravy, too many cookies and cakes and pies, not to mention the whipped cream  toppings...a nice plate of plain rice and steamed vegetables seems pretty good to me.

My wife Elise is a turnip lover, and she likes her turnips plain, without cheese or sauce or other vegetables mixed in to disguise or change the flavor. I love request cooking, so I gladly accommodate her, and as a consequence I've become a turnip lover too. The earthy, delicate taste has a clean, honest feel, and of course they are very low in calories, even with the small amount of butter I use.

Rutabagapic_2Turnip_2The rutabaga (on the left), also called a yellow turnip, is actually a cousin of the familiar purpletop turnip (shown right), the result of a crossing of turnips with cabbage (or kale, as I have seen in one article). The rutabaga is much bigger, commonly 4 or 5" in diameter, compared to the purpletop's 1-1/2 - 2" typical size. The rutabaga is cultivated in cold climates. Called a swede in England (since it was introduced from Sweden) and a neep in Scotland, they are generally not popular anywhere...except in our house, I guess.

Buttered Rutabaga with Herbs

1 rutabaga
salt, hot sauce to taste
2 T minced scallions or herbs (fresh parsley, oregano, basil, tarragon or chives are good choices)

Peel the rutabaga and cut it into 3/4" chunks. Boil in a large pot full of salted water until just tender. Drain and toss with some butter and the herbs. Correct seasoning and serve immediately.


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You beat me to it! We LOVE turnips AND rutabagas here, too. I'm finding that the stores don't know the difference between the two -- my sister just bought something marked turnip and we figured out later it was a rutabaga. And vice versa for my aunt in Winnipeg!

Hi Alanna...I thought you'd like this...after I got your comment I added some pictures of rutabaga and turnips, since I suspect lots of people are a little shakey on the difference! As I tend to do, I'm going to do some other rutabaga preparations in the days to come...

I love retabaga's too...

My Favorite way to prepare them is to cube them into bite size pieces, toss with some sliced shallots, olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven uncovered for about an hour until they begin to carmalized around the edges. Remove them from oven and season with a drizzle of some browned butter for a nutty taste. For a little additional flavor add some toasted pine nuts and plumped golden raisins. And if you would like to try something else, they are just as wonderful roasted with fresh brussel sprouts! Yum! Thanks for another great food moment Stephen!

i'm drooling like homer simpson over a donut . . .

Well that explained a lot to me! I always wondered what a rutabaga was as by the time they have been cooked, I have no idea what they looked like whole. We call them swedes at home. And they are to die for as mash.

But what about those reddish stalk things? Aren't that rutabaga too?


When I lived in Nashua, NH I kept looking for rutabagas and couldn't find them. Nobody had even heard of them. When I say, "They're related to turnips," they'd say, "We got turnips!" I _know_ you've got turnips. I don't _want_ turnips. I want a rutabaga! -- Damned yankees.

Linked you on my weekend Culilinkus

and ta think i've always been askeert of those when i saw them in the store!

Oh Stephen, we LOVE rutabagas. And turnips. And parsnips. Yummm. Love em in stews.

MM, those are "rhubarb." :-)

Now, I wonder if I can find me some rutabags in South America...

Ah I see, that explains a lot. Ta!

Rutabaga!! I love it cubed & boiled, then drained. Add some butter, salt & pepper to it & it's a meal in itself! It's also delicious in soups & stews!! YUMMMMM!!! I am so disappointed not to have been able to attend the "Rutabaga Festival" this year. Have any of you ever gone to a "Rutabaga Festival?" *LOL* This one is held every year in Cumberland, Wisconsin. I WILL be there next Aug.

The best thing about these guys is they are about as versatile as our friend the potato. Mashed, baked, fried, chipped, sauteed, roasted, boiled, plain, salted, cheesed, peppered, sour cream and baconed.... amazing! I originally stumbled upon this site months ago to figure out how to just cook a rutabaga. Now, I've tried so many different recipes and invented my own... we should give these little guys more publicity. They're so much better than potatoes =D And what about their nutritional value?

my family always has rutabagas in the garden. right now i'm boiling corn beef, red potatoes, cabbage, onion, turnips, and rutabga. really good!

We love Rutabaga in our house and have brought up our children to love them also. One thing we never mastered is a good way to peel them. They are tough rascals and there must be an easy way to peel them. Got any ideas for me? If so please email me at [email protected]

My son just ask me about Rutabaga, if i wasnted some , well I never used them , so here I am going to try it. I'm making Pig Belley today if he gets it here in time i may try it and see how it will work in with the sausage.
Renelle Brown

HI--I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to share my favorite way to cook them. I chop them and put them in the roasting pan along with carrots and onions--coat with olive oil salt and pepper--underneath a whole chicken and bake it. The rutabegas(as well as the other veggies)soak up the chicken drippings and get brown and carmelized on the bottom--yum yum!

Rutabagas were frequently on our table in south Georgia. Instead of butter, they were seasoned with bacon drippings. We ate them diced small and cooked very soft or mashed. They are wonderful!

Rutabaga Days in Cumberland, WI :
Live music, beer, pepper eating contest, air show, arts & crafts, ber, parade, fun. Always the weekend before Labor Day.

Steamed carrots and rutabagas, - add some rosemary to the boiling water. Wonderful.

Grew up with rutabagas served at Thanksgiving with turkey. Our family is Scotch-Irish. I hated them when I was young but made them for my family anyway! Well, they loved them! We cube them, simmer till tender, drain, add salt, LOTS of Butter and sugar. Right now I am freezing our first successful crop from our farm in Indiana that our grown son grew this year. Oh yes, I learned to love them!

I LOVE rutabagas! I live in Madison, WI and never knew about the festival, now it is the 1st thing I am putting on my 2009 calender. Thank you all for this posting and great cooking ideas! And I too am wondering what the easiest way to peel them is...Thanks!

I'm 67 years old and ate my first Rutabaga in a beef stew last week. I regret waiting this long to try this wonderful veg.

My mother loved rutabaga, just boiled 'till tender, then mashed with butter. My father, I think ate it to set an example for us kids! I love it. My recipe is simple: simply work a little slowly to get all the wax and skin off with a good sharp knife, dice into 1/2 to inch size pieces, boil 30 minutes or so, then serve as or with potatoes or carrots or my favorite, simply alone, mashed with a fork and a little butter and horseradish! Oh heaven.......

Love them too; but cook cubed in electric pressure cooker with 3/4 c water for approx. 10 minutes or longer if necessary. S&P and butter. They taste better after a day to two.

Hi Ruthi..thanks for the informative note...I must admit I never learned to use a mother used one all the time and I had a childhood of overcooked vegetables so that may be the reason!


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