Seasonal Vegetable: How to Buy, Store and Cook Rutabagas

Feb 7, 2013
E. Brandy

rutabaga picture

Rutabagas have a similar aspect to turnips but they have a yellowish flesh and a purple exterior.  They can be quite large, but smaller specimens are more appreciated; and have a stronger flavor than turnips.

Look for small, firm specimens that are compact. Yellow leaves are not a good sign, so you’d better avoid it. Like other root vegetable, you can find rutagas that are coated with wax to keep them from drying out. Large rutabagas are often harder and can have a stronger flavor than smaller specimens. Store your rutabagas wrapped in plastic and papper bag in the refrigerator crisper. You will keep them for several weeks.

You should peel rutabaga because of the wax coating that protect them. Peel and leave whole if they are small — just like small turnips — , or slice or dice.

Concerning the cooking methods, it’s the same as turnips: you can boil, braise or glaze your rutabagas. You can also make mashed rutabaga. When rutabaga is tender, it’s ready to eat!

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