I just love saying that word.
What Is Rutabaga?
What's a rutabaga? Well, it's sort of a large turnip glancing in the direction of a sweet potato. It's yellow in color on the inside, and tastes sort of like a turnip, but somewhat less bitter. It's also called a "Swede" or a Swedish turnip.
I don't think you can escape Minnesota without having had your fair share of rutabagas, and my dad is no exception. He loves them. Tosses them into anything that calls for root vegetables.
When I mentioned we were mashing up some rutabagas, he came by lickety-split, and then didn't leave until he ate half of them.
Yes, we love rutabagas here, and this mashed version is an excellent way to serve them.
How about you? Are you a rutabaga fan? If so, what's your favorite way of serving them? Please let us know in the comments.
Rutabagas vs. Turnips
Although rutabagas are often mistaken for purple turnips, they are different root vegetables. Rutabagas are sweeter and, when cooked, they have a creamier consistency than their turnip cousins.
Rutabagas are a little more yellow and oblong in shape than turnips, which are whiter and rounder. They are usually larger then turnips. Since larger turnips can turn woody, they are usually harvested when they are small. Rutabagas can range in size from about the size of a tennis ball to as large as your head, depending on where they are grown and when they are harvested.
Mashed Rutabagas vs. Mashed Potatoes
Rutabagas are a common substitute for mashed potatoes for those of us trying to cut down on carbs. But they are less starchy and sweeter than their tuber cousins. Although they are higher in sugar, they contain half the calories of mashed potatoes, making them a great substitute for those watching our waistlines.
But why choose? You can actually mix the two and make mashed rutabagas with potatoes!
When are Rutabagas in Season?
You'll start seeing these fun root vegetables in October. They are harvested from October through November, but may be seen in the produce section of your grocery store well into March, due to their long storage life.
Those sold in regular grocers are often coated with wax, to increase their shelf life. So, be sure to peel the skin before cooking. If you get your rutabagas from the farmers market, they'll be wax-free and just need some good scrubbing before cooking.
Look for rutabagas that are firm and feel heavy for their size.
How to Store Rutabagas
If your rutabagas have the tops, remove them before storage. Be sure they are not bruised or damaged for longer term storage. They do well in cold places, like the vegetable crisper drawer of your refrigerator. You can wrap them in a cloth or paper towel in an unsealed plastic bag before putting them in the fridge. Don't wash them before storing, since moisture will encourage mold or rotting.
How long will rutabagas keep? They'll keep for 4 to 5 months properly wrapped in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
What to Serve with Mashed Rutabagas
More Root Vegetable Recipes to Make!
- Roasted Root Vegetables With Tomatoes and Kale
- Root Vegetable Skillet Pot Pie
- Roasted Parsnips
- Classic Glazed Carrots
- Celery Root Mash
Mashed Rutabaga with Sour Cream and Dill
2 to 3 pounds rutabagas, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream (more or less to taste)
Black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or chives
Boil chopped rutabaga until tender:
In a large pot, cover the chopped rutabaga with about 1 inch of cold water. Add a generous pinch of salt and boil until tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and return the rutabagas to the pot.
Let steam, then mash:
Reduce the heat to low and let the rutabaga steam for a minute or two. Then, mash with a potato masher.
Add the butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste:
Just before serving, mix in the chopped dill or chives.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 5g||7%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||14%|
|Total Carbohydrate 21g||8%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||19%|
|Total Sugars 11g|
|Vitamin C 57mg||285%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|