Rutabaga is also known as “Swedish turnips,” or “Swedes” this vegetable can be prepared any way that turnips can be cooked.
A root vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family, yet larger and sweeter than turnips.Unlike a white turnip, it will be a yellowish orange in color when cooked.
The turnip in Scotland is commonly ‘brassica rapa’, rutabaga or Swedish turnip. In Britain, generally it is called a “swede”.
It was introduced to Scotland in the late eighteenth century by Patrick Miller of Dalswinton. He was a wealthy man, a director of the Bank of Scotland and Chairman of the Carron Iron Company, and had a passionate interest in mechanical and agricultural improvement. King Gustav III of Sweden was a satisfied customer of Carron, and he presented Miller with a gold, diamond-encrusted snuff-box bearing a miniature of himself, containing rutabaga seeds. In this way the rutabaga came to Scotland. The box and its accompanying letter can still be seen in the British Museum in London.
Season: available year-round
How to select: Look for smooth rutabagas that feel heavy for their size. Choose ones that are very firm and have no green shoots.
How to store: These very hardy vegetables are available year round and will last for several days at room temperature, and a few weeks refrigerated.
How to prepare: bake, boil, deep-fry, puree, roast In Scotland, rutabagas are most often boiled and served mashed alongside mashed potatoes. They do require a little longer cooking time than potatoes or carrots. For a change of pace, substitute rutabagas for white turnips in any recipe that calls for turnips. They have a slightly stronger taste than white turnips and will benefit from a dose of freshly ground pepper.
Matches well with: butter, cream, ginger, lemon, nutmeg, parsley, pepper, sage, sour cream, thyme