This purple tinged taproot is thought to be a cross between a turnip and a wild cabbage. Its name means “baggy root” in Old Nordic.
If you can do it to a potato, you can do it to a rutabaga. Try it mashed, boiled, fried, baked, steamed, braised, stir-fried, added to casseroles or soups, and (for the serious root veggie fan) eaten raw.
Most people prefer to peel the rutabaga before eating it. To easily peel a rutabaga, cut off the top and bottom ends, creating a flat surface to rest on the cutting board. With a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, remove the skin of the tuber in strips, starting at the top and moving your knife toward the cutting board. Some sources also recommend quartering the rutabaga for easier peeling. From there, it can be cubed, chopped into sticks, shredded, etc.
Rutabagas can be stored as any other root vegetable, in a cool place for up to two weeks. Or if you prefer, store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to three to four weeks. The ethylene gas emitted by apples and bananas could give the rutabaga a bitter flavor, so do not store them together.
It is recommended to let cut rutabagas sit for about five minutes in boiling water before baking, braising, or stir-frying.
Overcooking is a big no-no with the rutabaga. To keep the mild flavor, avoid keeping it too long on the stove top or oven.
While cooking, the aroma of rutabaga is less inviting than the taste of the final product. Lift the lid every so often while cooking to allow the gases to be released – this will improve the rutabaga’s flavor.