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Seasonal Feature: Rutabaga | Great Performances


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Seasonal Feature: Rutabaga
by Beth Kaiserman

You may have seen it lurking behind a pale orange butternut squash or some big beets. Rutabaga tends to be seen as the underdog root vegetable, but it actually is quite versatile and delicious. 

Here, some fun facts to get you started with this hearty winter root.

Fun Facts

1. It’s said to be a hybrid of turnips and wild cabbage that originated in Bohemia. People used to carve turnips and rutabagas to ward off evil spirits until Irish immigrants in America found pumpkins a much better substitute.

2. Rutabagas are large and part white, part purple on the outside. Outside the U.S. they’re known as swedes. Other names include Swedish turnip or Russian turnip.

3. A longtime gardener in the UK set the Guinness World Record in 2011 for largest root vegetable: an 85.5-pound rutabaga.

4. While turnips take on a peppery taste, rutabagas taste nutty and sweet when you roast them.

5. Rutabagas are high in antioxidant and anti-cancer compounds and vitamin C. One cup has 53% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C. They are also high in potassium, manganese, fiber and more.

Source: Food Facts by Mercola

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Try these creative dishes at our cafés this week, or make one of these great recipes:

Rutabaga, Kale and Potato Gratin
Sicilian Style Rutabaga

January 8-13:

Brown Sugar and Coconut-Glazed Rutabaga Salad
Tuscan Kale, Sugar Snap Peas, Scallions at Mae Mae Café

Rutabaga Cake with Bonito Flakes and Tonkatsu Sauce at Garden Court Café at Asia Society

Roasted Rosemary Root Vegetables
Fresh Rosemary-Scented Rutabaga, Potato, Carrots, Beets at The Norm at Brooklyn Museum

Sicilian Style Rutabaga
Roasted Rutabagas, Swiss Chard, Toasted Almonds, Currants at BAM Café

Apple Rutabaga Bisque
Rutabaga Sweet and Sour Bisque 

Rutabaga Noodles with Vodka Sauce
Sautéed Rutabaga, Fresh Herbs, Vodka Sauce at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Thumbnail photo courtesy of Flickr

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