It all started a few years ago when I was telling my niece that I thought the word ‘rutabaga’ was so much fun to say. (All together now: R-u-t-a-b-a-g-a!) At the time I really didn’t know what it was, except that it was some sort of root vegetable. That got me curious, and I set out to get some seeds. It turns our they’re pretty easy to grow, and I had a good crop that first year.
Last year I didn’t pay too much mind to growing them again, though my husband sneaked a couple of seeds in one of our strawberry boxes (that wasn’t, apparently, being used for strawberries). This year, armed with that same seed packet I bought 2 years ago, I decided to give it a go again. I seeded a bit heavily since the seeds were a few years old, and this is what I ended up with:
As it turned out, the two-year old seeds remained quite viable. The yellow arrows signify the original row of rutabagas I planted, and the blue is the ‘overflow’ row from the thinnings I couldn’t bear to just throw away. In short, I have been blessed with rutabaga this year.
Aren’t they beautiful? The one on the right is about 4″ diameter.
And now…to answer the question posed in the title…GIVE THEM AWAY!!!
HaHa. Okay, so I’ve been doing a bit of that, but I’ve also been cooking them (and trying to get my husband, Nicolas, to eat more). Here are two ways I really like:
1. Boiled rutabaga: Scrub, peel, and remove the foliage. Cut into cubes and boil until tender, maybe 20 minutes. Drain, return to pot with some melted butter (or oil), brown sugar to taste, and ‘pumpkin spices’ such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves.
2. Rutabaga fries: This one comes from a really neat-o book called Vegetables Every Day, which is an alphabetical collection of lots of veggies, how to select them and prepare them. Anyway, scrub, peel, remove the foliage. Cut into strips, like fries. Toss with a little olive oil, cinnamon, paprika, cumin until coated. Oil a baking sheet, place the fries in a single row, and bake for 25 minutes at 425F. Remove from oven and turn each fry over. Bake another 15-20 minutes until crispy. This one is really tasty (though I’m still trying to convince Nicolas of that).
Ah well, more for me!!!