The rutabaga (from an old Swedish dialectal word), swede (from Swedish turnip), or neep (Brassica napobrassica, or Brassica napus var. napobrassica, or Brassica napus subsp. rapifera) is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip. The roots are prepared for human consumption in a variety of ways, and the leaves can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. The roots and tops are also used as winter feed for livestock, when they may be fed directly, or by allowing the animals to forage the plants in the field. Various European countries have a tradition of carving them into lanterns at halloween.
The poor, forlorn, and forgotten rutabaga.
We really don’t know how to do veggies very well here in America – well, the vast majority of us.
I’d like to set “us” apart. We’ve got the broccoli and cauliflower down pat – and the Brussel’s sprouts and kale are a booming business.
Let’s bring about some more roots.
Lemon Thyme Roasted Rutabaga
2 large turnips, washed
1 cup green beans
peel and juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Place the whole rutabagas in an oven safe baking dish. Layer the green beans on top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the peels of 1 lemon. Drizzle again with lemon juice and season with thyme, sea salt, and pepper.
Bake, covered, for at least 1 hour, until the rutabaga are soft.
Serve the rutabagas sliced in half, topped with green beans, fresh thyme and extra lemon juice and olive oil, if desired.
Even better…shave aged Parmigiano Reggiano over the roasted veggies.