Rutabaga is a root vegetable that is related to turnips. Otherwise known as yellow turnip or Swedish turnip, rutabaga is highly nutritious. Even the leaves of this plant are edible. This bulbous root vegetable has a yellowish skin and flesh, and ridges on the crown. Some specimens may have a purplish crown.
Rutabaga has a fresh and sweet taste, but, some of them can be slightly bitter. Studies show that, rutabaga has the highest level of some nutrients; when compared to other root vegetables, like potato, beet, and sweet potato. While most people are unaware of the nutritional value of this vegetable; there are many, who don't know how to cook rutabaga.
Tips for Cooking Rutabaga
This vegetable can be consumed in different ways. While some people prefer it raw, as in salads and other such recipes; others like cooked versions. It can be steamed, boiled, baked, roasted, and pureed. Rutabaga is commonly used in stews and casseroles. It can also be cooked in a microwave.
Before cooking, you have to clean and peel the vegetable. Try to get small ones because they are found to be the sweetest. Wash them in cold water, before peeling (use a paring knife for this purpose). You have to cut the ends, before halving the vegetable. Once done, cut the vegetable into cubes or any other shape of your choice. Take a saucepan and put the rutabaga cubes into it, along with half a teaspoon of salt. Add enough water to cover the pieces. As the water starts boiling, cover and cook the vegetable till it gets tender. It will take roughly 15 to 20 minutes for the rutabaga pieces to get cooked. The next step is to drain the pieces. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and top with some butter. Otherwise use the cooked rutabaga for preparing other recipes.
Steaming and Baking
Once cut into pieces of the desired shape and size, you can steam the vegetable in a colander or a steamer. It will take around 20 to 25 minutes for the vegetable to get done. Remove it from heat, as it gets tender. Toss the pieces with a spoon of olive oil along with some salt and pepper. If you like minced garlic, it can also be added.
In case of baking, peel and cut the vegetable into two or three pieces, and boil them. Once done, drain the pieces and mash with a tablespoon of sugar, a pinch or two of white pepper, ½ cup of milk, one teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of flour. The next step is to transfer the lumpy mixture to a greased loaf pan. Top it with butter, before placing the pan in the oven preheated to 350°F. Bake for around 45 minutes, or till it develops a brownish crust.
Cooking Rutabaga in Microwave
This vegetable can be easily cooked in a microwave. Prepare the vegetable, and cut it into pieces. Put them in a microwave safe dish with a small amount of water. For a pound of rutabaga, you may add two to three tablespoons of water. Cover the dish with a microwave plastic wrap and vent. Cook the vegetable for around 15 to 20 minutes, at a high temperature. You have to check the doneness, in between. Remove it from the microwave, once the vegetable is done. Wait for a few minutes, before opening the cover. Another method is to cook whole rutabagas (with skin) in the microwave, for around five minutes. Once removed, the skin is peeled off, and the vegetable is further cooked as per the recipe, or frozen for later use.
You may try these methods and choose the best way to cook rutabaga, as per the recipe. So, you may include this vegetable in your diet and enjoy its nutritional benefits.