Today I want to talk to you about rutabaga.
Yes, Rutabega, pronounced ROO-tah-bag-uh. Or something like that.
Rutabaga is a member of the turnip family, and it is THE best tasting turnip around. Every time I go through the checkout line with a rutabaga, the clerk has to ask me what it is. THIS IS A TRAVESTY. Everyone should know what a rutabaga is.
Allow me to introduce you! A rutabaga looks like this. You eat the root of the plant.
It’s really quite easy to prep. First you want to cut off both ends. You will need a very large, sharp knife.
It has a thick waxy outer layer that you will want to peel off.
Then just cut it into largish cubes and put it in a pot with water.
Obviously if you want it to cook faster, you can cut it smaller, but since I had a meatloaf in the oven, I had plenty of time and I like to think that fewer nutrients leach out into the water when it’s not cut up so small. I have no scientific proof of this theory, mind you.
Now, rutabaga can be a tad bitter, so the secret to a tasty mashed rutabaga is…
Yep. Sugar. Add about a Tablespoon of sugar (or sucanat or honey or whatever sweetener you like) to the cooking water and it will be perfect every time.
Then you just cover it and bring it to a boil, like you were boiling potatoes, and then reduce the heat to a simmer until it is cooked through. Or until the fire alarm goes off.
Actually, the goal is NOT to let them boil dry. That there, that’s what happens when you’re twittering and cooking at the same time — NOT a good idea.
Fortunately I was able to salvage my precious rutabaga. Just mash it up in a bowl like it were a potato.
Salt and pepper it real good, mix it around, taste, and salt and pepper a bit more. Then add about a half a stick of butter and you’re good to go.
Heh. And you thought I was kidding.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Butter really is good for you. And it helps your body absorb the nutrients in your veggies, which is just a bonus in my book. Go ahead. Try and tell me this doesn’t make you drool.
It’s really good with meatloaf or other wintry meat dishes.
- 1 medium sized rutabaga
- 1 T sugar
- ½ stick of butter
- salt and pepper
- Slice off ends of rutabaga. Peel and cut into large chunks.
- Place in pot with a couple inches of water and the sugar. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 30-40 minutes or until fork tender.
- Drain, mash with a fork or potato masher, then add butter and salt and pepper to taste.