Have you? Or have you just walked by the waxy little orbs of root vegetable thinking, “those purple turnips over there look awfully pretty” or “I guess I’ll just get more carrots, you can’t go wrong with carrots” or “Root vegetables? Where are the potatoes!?”
I can’t blame you, especially regarding stockpiling potatoes. And you really can’t go wrong with carrots. But! It’s time for the humble rutabaga to shine!
Rutabagas are tasty and they’re available in the middle of winter. According to Wikipedia, rutabagas originated as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Crazy! They’re sometimes called Swedes or Swedish turnips in Europe. And you can cook them just about any way you would cook potatoes, but they add a little something different to the table.
Lovely rutabagas from Stoney Plains Organic Farm
I made 3 dishes using rutabagas. First, I made a rutabaga puree, which is essentially like making mashed potatoes except using rutabagas. Peel ’em, chop ’em, boil ’em, mash ’em with some butter and milk or broth.
Of course, you could also roast your rutabaga alongside all your other favorite vegetables. Chop up all those potatoes you’ve been stockpiling, along with some carrots, parsnips, sunchokes, and so on. Toss them in a little olive oil, salt and pepper (and maybe some thyme!) and roast them in a 400 degree oven for, say, 45 minutes or until soft.
But the rutabaga dish nearest and dearest to my heart is the pasty. I grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where pasties are a big deal.
The pasty deserves to be a big deal.
Anyway, I made them at home for the first time!
Just dice carrots, potatoes, onions and rutabagas and mix together. Traditional pasties have beef or sometimes venison, which you would also dice finely and mix with the vegetables, but I’m a vegetarian, so just the veggies for me.
Make some simple dough – I used a recipe from here. Roll out your dough, fill with vegetables, and crimp edges closed. Like so:
Seriously, try making pasties, adding your favorite ingredients. It’s fun.