But truly, with the exception of the overly ubiquitous carrot and potato, most other ground veggies, at least in this country, have fallen hugely out of fad. Beets and parsnips show up as haute cuisine. Turnips show up served alongside carrots in typical holiday fare … which most typically leave on their plate as an offering to the garburator.
But what of the lowly rutabaga with the weird Swedish name? A cross between a cabbage on top and turnip in the ground, this is a root veggie that just exists.
So when it showed up in my CSA bin last week on the eve of our Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I was challenged as to what I was going to do with this 2kg behemoth. I knew I wanted to do something with it to move it through and out of my kitchen. I was also committed to doing a roast turkey breast in the oven so it made good sense to me if I could roast the rutabaga as well and use the space in the already hot oven … and create something that was easy and low maintenance so I could be socializing while things cooked.
Inspired by my success of roasted squash and even roasted cauliflower, I thought, what the heck, I’d try roasting this too. And for flavours? Well, the roasting was bound to bring out the natural sweetness and nuttiness of the tuber, so I thought I’d keep it simple and use the natural herbs that were growing around my home this time of year too: oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary and thyme. A little olive oil and salt and pepper, and, well, you have a complete recipe that couldn’t be simpler.
Beyond simple, though, this is a recipe that really let the rutabaga shine. I can’t say that I’ve had many rutabaga dishes that ever wowed me, but this was a side that definitely made me go “yum.” Best metric of all: none was left behind on anyone’s plate.
So fear not the rutabaga. Embrace this inexpensive and seasonal bounty and roast up an excellent side that will sure to delight all.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Roasted Rutabaga with Fall Herbs
- 3½ lbs whole rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2″ (1 cm) cubes
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 teaspoon (4 large leaves) fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 small sprig) fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 sprig) Greek oregano, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 sprig) thyme, chopped
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Wash the rutabaga and top and tail it and then peel the rutabaga.
- Laying it on side, slice it into 1/2″ (1 cm) thick slices.
- Cut the slices into 1/2″ (1 cm) thick strips.
- Cut the strips again into 1/2″ (1 cm) cubes and toss into a medium-sized bowl.
- Remove the herbs from their respective stems and sprigs, and chop them each up and add them to the rutabaga.
- Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and mix well making sure all the rutabaga is lightly covered in oil and herbs.
- On a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread out the rutabaga evenly.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, until the rutabaga has started to brown and is just tender the fork.
- Serve with your favourite fall roast (e.g. turkey).