Rutabaga description and serving suggestions

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient


Common Names: Rutabaga, Swedish Turnip, Swede, Russian Turnip, Yellow Turnip

Botanical Name: Brassica Napobrassica Origin: Northern Europe

DESCRIPTION Rutabaga is a hardy biennial grown as an annual. It has a rosette of smooth, grayish-green leaves that grow from the swollen stem, and it has a root that can be yellow, purple, or white. The rutabaga can be distinguished from the turnip by the leaf scars on its top, and the leaves are more deeply lobed than the turnip's. As vegetables go, rutabagas are a fairly modern invention. They were created less than 200 years ago by crossing a cabbage with a turnip (probably Swedish).

WHERE AND WHEN TO GROW Rutabagas are very hardy and grow better in cool weather. They like a definite difference between night and day temperatures. In hot weather they produce lots of leaves, but small stringy roots. Plant them in late summer in the North, and in the fall in the South or where the weather gets very hot.

WHEN AND HOW TO HARVEST Time from planting to harvest is 90 to 100 days, and a 10 foot row may give you over 10 pounds of rutabagas if the weather has been right. To harvest, dig up the whole roots when the rutabagas are three to five inches in diameter. Store rutabagas in a cold, moist place for two to four months; do not refrigerate.

They can also be frozen.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS Peel rutabagas and steam or boil until tender; then mash them for use in puddings and pancakes. They can also be served sliced or diced. Add rutabagas to vegetable soups and stews.

Saute them in butter with apples and brown sugar. Rutabaga is very good with lots of butter or sour cream; low-calorie alternatives are yogurt or low-fat cream cheese. Source: Vegetable Gardening Encyclopedia Typos by Dorothy Flatman 1995 Submitted By DOROTHY FLATMAN On 07-07-95

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