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Rutabaga: Tips and Tricks - Colorful Plates
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Rutabaga: Tips and Tricks

Don’t let their tough exterior fool you, rutabagas are big softies. Literally. Their flesh is seriously smooth when cooked, and bolsters a sweet earthiness that lends itself to experimentation. With a season lasting from October-March, rutabagas can help you keep the spirit of fresh produce alive in the dead of winter. Bundle up with these tips and tricks.

  • Choosing the perfect rutabaga is easier than you may think. Look for ones with a light purple hue that feel firm and heavy for their size. Additionally, try to avoid any rutabagas that are blemished or have shoots growing out of their flesh, as the latter is a clear sign of overripeness.
    • If you’re low on time, scratching your rutabaga can help determine ripeness. Fresh rutabagas should show a bit of yellow skin when scratched.
  • You’d expect a winter vegetable that hails from Sweden to have an enduring shelf life and rutabagas do not disappoint. If stored in a cool, dark place, they’ll keep for months before spoiling. We recommend wrapping them in a plastic bag and storing in the fridge for best results.
  • Did you know that rutabagas are actually a cross between turnips and cabbages? Rutabaga leaves can even be served as greens too! Unsurprisingly, their flavor profile is reminiscent of cabbage, so try throwing some into a hearty winter stew or substituting them into your favorite southern collard greens recipe!
  • Stay in the family. Rutabagas can be substituted into recipes that call for white turnip and vice versa, but note that rutabagas will require a longer cook time.
  • You could grab almost any tool in your kitchen and use it to prepare rutabaga. Whether you prefer it boiled and mashed, air fried, sautéed, or gratinated, there’s a cooking method for you.