Thursday, February 16, 2012

R is for ... rutabaga?

Why does the lowly rutabaga not get any love? They are always hidden beneath the parsnips, below the broccolini, or behind the beets at the supermarket. Luckily, I speak rutabaga, so I can hear them beckoning me at Kroger.

A thing of beauty
Did you know that the rutabaga was born out of a chance hybridization of cabbage and turnips?

Did you also know that it is pretty healthy? Here's the lowdown:


If that doesn't do it for you, look where it ranks on this chart! Add in the tastiness and thriftiness factors, and there is no reason why the rutabaga should not be in a place of honor at the supermarket. 


My favorite way to eat rutabaga is via the oven fry method. They are sweet, salty, and fibrous.  Here's how I make them:

1. Peel and slice the rutabaga into long strips. Use your big boy knife.



2. Put the fries into a plastic bag. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and seasonings. I normally just use grill seasoning, about a tablespoon. I was out of that, so I used salt, pepper, and Penzey's Forward! spice mix. (It has paprika, turmeric, garlic, and onion.) Shake well to get everything coated. 

3. Spread out the fries on a baking sheet, and bake at 375 for about 18-20 minutes. Depending on how small you cut your fries, I would check on them at 15 minutes. When they are nearly finished, I turn on the broiler, and cook them for 2-3 more minutes just to get them crispy and brown.


4. Serve with a side of ketchup. Yum!