So the other day my buddy Matt Brenneman posted on facebook “You know what is a really funny word, to me? Rutabagas! Rutabagas! Aahahahaha! Good morning!” That amused me greatly and I also thought “hey, that’s a winter root vegetable”, so I present you, the rutabaga.
Rutabaga is a root vegetable that is also known as swede, Swedish turnip and yellow turnip depending on your geography. Rumor has it that this is a hybrid of turnips and cabbage, but there isn’t any solid history on that as they have been around since the mid-1600’s. The flesh of the rutabaga should be an off-white to yellowish in color. The more yellow it is, the more ripe it is.
How to Buy
Rutabaga should be firm with a smooth skin. That’s really the bulk of what you need to know, firm with a smooth skin. Additionally watch out for a rutabaga that seems lighter than it should be for its size, this could be caused by pitting, fibrous bits or some other internal reason that would be undesirable.
How to Store
Rutabaga can be stored not unlike a potato, it can be refrigerated but should just be stored in a normal room temperature setting.
How to Prepare
Rutabaga can be prepared in a wide variety of ways including roasting, baking, boiling and even raw. For a more common comparison, just about anything you can do with a carrot or even a potato, can be done with a rutabaga. You can also mash it and essentially make mashed rutabaga, not unlike mashed potatoes.