Rutabaga has a somewhat bad reputation in many circles possibly because it was one of the main foods in World War І when it was one of the main staples next to potatoes and some grain during time of extreme poverty and starvation. But don’t hold that against it - their vitality was and is still a gift.
(rutabaga pot roast with Italian flat leaf parsley)
Speaking to Alex (my guy for rutabaga at the farmer’s market) he was all for the sturdy root since insects don’t bother the hearty root because of the cold weather and its sturdy qualities. He stores rutabaga in cold temperature for up to five months which brings him through the season next to a multitude of potatoes which he stores similarly over the next cold winter months. “They save the day,” farmer Alex says.
Feed & Food
Besides cattle liking rutabaga I find them a lovely companion in stews and casseroles. Rutabaga has a natural sweet taste with a sharpness similar to radishes. Simply mashed rutabaga makes a pretty vegetable side with its white golden hue.
Good Accidents Happen
The task was to dice rutabaga uniformly and then to be roasted along a beef brisket for a menu addition of the day. The cook, a recent graduate from the local culinary school.
(Brisket with roasted rutabaga and celeriac)
Rutabaga with its somewhat hard-to-cut texture proved to be a struggle, and instead of uniform cubes I looked at a container of ALL KINDS OF GEOMETRICALLY SHAPED rutabaga. So – the puzzle pieces became a rutabaga puree. Tasty and satisfying!
(rutabaga puree with a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil)
Recipe for Rutabaga Puree
(enough for four sides when served with an entrée such as brisket)
2 rutabagas (5-inch diameter)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil such as canola or grape seed oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 pinches cayenne
¼-teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Peel rutabaga with a strong knife such as a chef’s knife (cut bottom and top of root for more stability then cut rest of outer peel off).
2. Cut rutabaga in small pieces (1/2-inch cubes).
3. Heat vegetable oil in a pot (1-gallon sized) on low heat setting then add vegetables, sea salt, cayenne and nutmeg.
4. Cook seasoned rutabaga (45 minutes or until really soft) covered with a tight fitting lid stirring every ten minutes or so. Once rutabaga is soft, add two cups of water then bring to boil.
5. Transfer cooked rutabaga to a food processor then process and add olive oil (process 3-4 minutes or until a pureed texture is achieved).