Have you ever actually had a rutabaga? It’s one of those things that…well, I know what it is, but I couldn’t tell you what it tastes like. Until now.
My mission this winter has been to try new things. It’s a great antidote to the suffering diet. When I’m in the produce section now, I want to not only be able to identify everything, but also be able to tell you what it tastes like.
This reminds me of a little story from when I was living in San Francisco. My male friend was in the produce section of a large supermarket. A strange woman approached him with a bunch of collard greens and asked him, stupefied, “Do you know what to do with these?”
Anyway, I digress.
Along with my new passion for convection roasting, I’ve been steadily consuming celeriac, Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, turnips, romanesco, and now rutabagas.
This is a rutabaga. Looks-wise, I’d describe it as a cross between celeriac, a turnip, and a sweet potato. Come to think of it, it tastes like those things too.
After you peel it, you can make oven fries with it. Yum! This recipe is modified from one in Jack Bishop’s Vegetables Every Day, which you should buy if you’re on a similar Try New Vegetables mission.
Rutabaga Oven Fries
1 large rutabaga cut into oven fry strips
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp each of cinnamon, ground cumin, paprika, and salt
Mix the olive oil with the herbs. Toss in the rutabaga pieces and coat them in the mixture. Spread out on a cookie sheet. Roast at 400, turning once, until they’re nicely browned, about 45-60 mins (I wasn’t really watching the clock).
You can serve these with your favorite sheep yogurt from Old Chatham farm, mixed with some chopped parsley.