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« Ode to Crunchy | Main | Use Your Bean »

Rutabaga, My New “Butternut Squash”

From Lori Powell

Rutabaga is that funny-looking, waxy thing that you see in the root area of the supermarket produce section. It really doesn’t feel good to the touch but underneath is a globe of delicious goodness!

I must say that I was among the doubters, thinking it really can’t be that good and it’s probably woody and dry underneath the rind.  Now rutabaga is my new butternut squash with lots more dimension – the adult version of butternut squash.

It takes a bit to remove the peel but do prevail and do not use a peeler.  Use a very sharp knife and cut away the peel. Enjoy my version of the new “butternut squash” puree gratinée.

Rutabaga Gratin
Serves 2

1 pound rutabaga, peeled and trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 shallot chopped
½ cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 425F. Simmer rutabaga, carrots, herbs, garlic and shallot in a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water to cover, until vegetables are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

Reserve ½ cup cooking water. Drain vegetables and remove herbs. Blend vegetables in a food processor with half of the cheese and some of reserved cooking water to desired consistency (it should be like mashed potatoes).  Spoon into a greased baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake in middle of oven until heated through and golden brown on top.

Change it up:

  • Add some freshly grated nutmeg before baking
  • Add some butter if you’re not watching the calories
  • Add lemony whole wheat breadcrumbs on top
  • Stir in fresh scallions before baking

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