Thursday, February 9, 2012

Veggie Ventures: Rutabaga

Welcome to the Veggie Ventures series, where we'll take a glimpse
at veggies my husband and I want to grow but have never really eaten!

Rutabaga.  Are you a fan? 

While thumbing through seed catalogs last spring, we came across the rutabaga.  It looked like an overgrown turnip--purple on top with a whitish bottom part, and in fact I've often seen them in stores right next to the turnips.  Feeling adventuresome, I picked one up during a grocery run (yes, just ONE...I wasn't feeling that adventurous!) to see what it would taste like. 

The descriptions I read online were pretty much spot-on.  The flesh was deeply golden, sweet, and could be served mashed like potatoes.  The only "warning" I've seen about rutabagas is that they can be pretty darned tough to cut open.  So be extra careful when cutting into one, or follow the suggestion I did:  prick it with a fork and microwave it for about 5 minutes to slightly soften if before trying to peel and cut it.  Once I extracted the rutabaga cubes, I put them back in the microwave to finish cooking.  Then I simply mashed them up a bit and served them with a little butter and salt.  Delicious!

Veggie Verdict
Yes!  This one definitely could be grown in our garden.  We planned for it last fall, but we got a late start on our planting and missed out on the proper planting dates for rutabaga. (It's a cold season veggie, but requires about about 90 days to mature.  We planted in October, which was too late!)

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