Thursday, April 12, 2012

Delicious Rutabaga

I had a good friend in which I cared for until her bout with colon cancer took her precious life.  One day I was visiting her and she was in the process of boiling a root she called a Rutabaga.  I had never seen this root before and it was intriguing for me to taste this usual root. 

 My friend insisted that I stay for dinner and I did.  In our island this root is not a popular one and I since I had never seen it before I was thrilled to taste it.  To my surprise this root was delicious. This super vegetable is extremely high in fiber & vitamin C. After doing some research on it I found out this root harvests' well in the Northern European countries (cold areas)...that's why I had never known anything about this root.
I have posted information on the Rutabaga at the end of this post...enjoy.

This is a Rutabaga.

I boiled my Rutabaga for 50 minutes. This root is hard and it takes a while for it to cook well.  I added some olive oil, salt & black pepper to mine and I also made a stir fry to go with it for my dinner.

 1 c. Brussels sprouts (chopped finely
 1 c. cabbage (chopped finely
1 c. bean sprouts
 1 yellow onion (diced)
6 cilantro sprigs  (chopped)
5 garlic cloves (minced)
3 T. olive oil
I seasoned the stir fry with some adobo, black pepper & salt. 

 I then layered this stir fry over the Rutabaga.

It was a delightful dinner along a banana smoothie.

The rutabaga is a root vegetable which is often confused with a turnip, because it resembles an over sized turnip. While related, the two vegetables are actually entirely different. Rutabagas are popular in Northern European countries, because they do well in cold weather, leading to their alternate name, the “Swedish turnip.” In nations where turnips are not widely cultivated, the rutabaga is also sometimes called a turnip, which can lead to some confusion.

The root of a rutabaga is bulbous and yellow in color with a waxy skin. Both the skin and the flesh are yellow, and the plant also has an array of leafy greens which are fully edible. Rutabaga greens are typically eaten like spinach, although they are sometimes mashed together with boiled rutabaga roots. The tuber is a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and has also historically been used as a food crop for animals. The greens can also be used as a foraging cover crop for animals, since rutabagas can grow year round if they are well cared for.

Numerous preparations are used for the rutabaga. It is generally eaten in a cooked form, although some people add chopped raw rutabaga to salads. One of the most traditional preparations is in a mash with potatoes, butter, and cream, a dish made in both Scotland and Scandinavia. It can also be roasted with other root vegetables, boiled, or baked. Younger rutabagas will be more flavorful and less starchy than older tubers.

When selecting rutabagas from the store, look for firm, evenly colored specimens with crisp greens, if the greens are still attached. They can be stored in a root cellar or under refrigeration for approximately two weeks in a plastic bag. Older specimens should be peeled before cooking, as the peel can sometimes be woody and bitter. Keep rutabagas away from apples and bananas, both of which emit ethylene gas, which can give the rutabagas a bitter flavor.

The hardiness of the rutabaga makes it a good choice for Northern gardens. They take longer to mature than turnips, and can be grown directly from seed in the ground, or from seedlings in very cold environments. In either instance, the rutabaga seedlings or seeds should be planted in moist, loose soil, and then watered periodically. Like many other root vegetables, the rutabaga can grow woody and bitter if exposed to sunlight while it grows, so make sure that your rutabagas are fully covered and well spaced as they grow.

From my Caribbean Vegan Kitchen to yours. ..SALUD!


  1. Wow, not only a dish to try but detailed information as well! I've never had rutabagas although I've heard of them. Thanks for the recipe.

  2. I don't know if we get the same variety here but we get something that is called swede over here. The skin is cream and purple but the flesh is yellow. I love this vegetable very much, good in soup too. I once made a sweet dessert from it. It was quite nice.


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