A Rutabaga sitting on top of some smaller turnip cousins.
What's the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip? They are botanically different: turnips are members of the mustard family and have been around since ancient times; rutabagas (also called swede turnips) originated in the 1700s in Scandinavia. Turnips have a higher water content than a rutabaga. Rutabagas are often peeled, turnips don't really need to be but can. (Adapted From the Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash)
From Julia re: cooking either or both roots: Rutabagas and turnips can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked up alone or in a stew/vegetable saute/soup/root mash, etc. Also they can be part of roasted vegetables. Rutabagas can be large and intimidating to home cooks who haven't prepared them before. The short course: wash the rutabaga well & peel. Grate raw into a salad, or steam and dot with butter, S & P. That's the short course for many vegetables, these are no exception!
Finishing touches for Steamed or boiled Rutabaga (or turnip): (adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook) First Steam the rutabagas, 1/2 inch cubes will take 30-35 minutes. (boil the rutabagas in 1/2 inch cubes: it will take 20-25 minutes)
*In Butter: Prepare as above and roll in melted butter. Season to taste with S & P and finish with chopped fresh herbs. You can combine rutabaga with turnips if you like.
*With Onions in Broth: Steam or boil rutabaga or turnips to just barely tender. Cool and slice. Saute sliced onions (1/2 cup per pound of roots)(or leeks, or green garlic, or...) In 1 T butter until wilted. Lightly sprinkle onions with flour, cook together for 2 minutes, remove from heat, and stir in beef or chicken broth (1/4 cup per pound of rutabaga/turnips), return to heat, season, and fold in drained roots. Cook together until just tender. Add more broth if needed.
*Mashed Rutabaga or Turnip: Mash or puree 2 pounds rutabaga or turnips with 2 T butter and 2-3 T sour cream or heavy cream(optional). Season with S & P. Another option: combine with mashed potatoes.
A Simple Raw Rutabaga Salad
1 whole rutabaga, peeled
1/4 cup raisins
Grate the rutabaga on a mandolin or large side of a grater, put the strips to a bowl. Peel the orange and cut it into 2 cm (about 2/3 inch) wide pieces and mix the juicy pieces with rutabaga. Add some raisins. Vegan, healthy, crunchy, and juicy.
Roasted Honeyed Rutabagas from Julia
For each large rutabaga: peel and cut into 3/4 inch pieces (approx.). Melt 3 T butter with 3 T honey in a medium saucepan or microwave in a med/large bowl, (can use a very light oil such as safflower if you're either vegan or just trying to live without butter). Toss the turnips with the butter/honey in the same pan, then arrange in one layer in a large jelly roll pan and bake in the oven (400 degrees) for 15 minutes, then stir with along wooden spoon, and continue baking until golden brown and looking yummy and ready to eat. (remember: this is just my method, you can adapt this in any way that makes sense for you.
Lynn Wilson's Rutabaga Pudding adapated from The Victory Garden Cookbook
During the 19th Century, savory puddings were common. Try this one with roast pork or ham or other main dish.
6 T butter
1 T grated onion
4 cups grated peeled rutabaga
3 oz cream cheese
2 C milk
3/4 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
3/4 C fresh bread crumbs
Melt 3 T butter in a large saute pan and cook onion until lightly colored; add grated rutabaga. Stir to coat with butter and cook until wilted, 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, beat eggs, add cream cheese, and beat together thoroughly. Heat milk, gradually add to egg mixture, then stir in the rutabaga mixture, salt, and pepper. Pour into a buttered 8x8 inch ovenproof dish. Melt remaining 3 T butter, saute bread crumbs, and top the rutabaga with them. Bake for 30 minutes in a preheated 350degree oven. (serves 4-6)
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