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carrots and rutabagas

My family never ate turnips, rutabagas or parsnips when I was growing up so I never discovered how delicious they are until my adult years. I have only just tasted rutabaga this past week and have my fellow gardener, Rabbit (from Winnie the Pooh) to thank for finding this recipe! My son, Chayton enjoys watching Winnie the Pooh and we have watched the episode: “Rabbit and the Rutabaga Wrangler” more than a few times! I kept wondering what a rutabaga was and finally asked Brian, who explained it was a root vegetable, similar to a turnip. He brought one home the following weekend and I hunted for a recipe to cook it with. I found this one on the Epicurious website and loved how it turned out. For those who dislike turnips or rutabagas, this dish may surprise you. Where traditional pureed rutabagas are heavier and filling- a wonderful accompaniment to a winter feast, this recipe is light, a bit crunchy and lemony- perfect for lunch on the patio on a summer day.

Carrots and Rutabagas with Lemon and Honey

1 rutabagas, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
6-8 carrots, peeled, cut into matchstick-size strips
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or extra virgin olive oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives

Cook rutabagas in large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook until vegetables are cooked through but still slightly firm, about 5 minutes.  (Or cook longer for more tender vegetables.) Drain.

Melt butter (or olive oil) in large pot over medium-high heat. Add lemon juice, honey, and peel. Bring to boil. Add vegetables; stir until glazed and remove from heat. Or, for softer vegetables, cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Mix in fresh chives. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Rutabaga is cross between a member of the cabbage family and the turnip family. It was a staple during World War II when food was scarce which is why it is often thought of as a ‘deprivation food’. Rutabagas are more pungent than turnips and the pungency can be reduced by blanching the vegetable in boiling water for 5 minutes before cooking. Rutabagas are an excellent source of potassium and a good source of vitamin C. It also contains magnesium, folic acid and phosphorus.

carrots and rutabagas1Resource:

Fortin, J. (1996). The Visual Food Encyclopedia. Montreal, Quebec: Les Editions Quebec/Amerique Inc.