Rutabagas

What do you get when you cross a wild cabbage with a turnip? If you said a rutabaga, then you are right. And if you said, what’s a rutabaga, well you’re probably not alone. Originally, this root vegetable was grown as feed for livestock. But once its sweet taste and nutritious properties were embraced, it began to be harvested for human consumption as well. While the entire vegetable–root and leaf– can be eaten raw or cooked, the starchy bulb tends to be most commonly used for cooking. In American cuisine, the root adds bulk and flavor to stews or can be found mashed with carrots or baked in pastries. In other cultures, the root is julienned for salads or mashed with butter and cream, having a texture similar to the potato. Either way, the rutabaga pairs well with beef and pork. And if you want to enjoy your produce in a crafty (not culinary) fashion, then follow the Scotts, the Irish, and those from the UK who carve the root in place of a pumpkin for Halloween.

In Season

January, February, March, April, October, November, December

Available From

Recipes with Rutabagas

Honey-Glazed Roots with Smoked Ham, Lacinato Kale, and Pickled Mustard Seeds

Isaac Miller, Maven Restaurant

Savory Root Vegetable Pancakes with Crème Fraîche

Lauren Kiino, Il Cane Rosso

Thai Roasted Root Vegetable Curry

Isa Chandra Moskowitz Author of Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes (Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2010)

Ribollita

Peter McNee, Poggio Trattoria.

Articles about Rutabagas

December 14, 2007

Join the Rooting Section

A walk through the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in December dispels any belief that “there are no fresh vegetables during the winter.” Vendor after vendor offers baskets brimming with ruby red beets, husky carrots and plump turnips.

December 01, 2006

Cruciferous Crops

Lucky for us, one of the most cold-tolerant plant families encompasses more vegetables than any other.

About CUESA

CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs. Learn More »