With the growing season winding down, it’s time to make friends with hearty root vegetables again.
Though, chances are, you never befriended rutabaga in the first place (how rude!).
I get it.
Rutabaga is like the awkward kid that gets picked last for sports.
He’s a modest fellow that just can’t keep up with dainty microgreens or shiny bell peppers.
But flavor-wise, these unassuming “yellow turnips” are pretty delicious. And nutritionally, they pack much of the same micronutrient goodness you find in a potato with about half the carbs.
Plus, if you suffer from any automimmune, joint, or other food sensitivity issues triggered by nightshade vegetables, rutabaga makes a great alternative to the ol’ white potato.
So I challenge you to: Give rutabaga a chance!
How to make crispy rutabaga fries (in the oven)
Rutabaga typically has more water than white potatoes or sweet potatoes, so when you’re making fries, you’ll want to follow a few of my tips below to get crispy, delicious results.
- Use enough oil/fat
- Don’t overcrowd the pan – spread in a single layer
- Make that oven hot, hot, hot – don’t wimp out at 350
- Cook on the bottom rack – closer to the heat source
- Opt for thin fries, not steak fries
- Choose a low-sided baking sheet – this allows steam to escape easily = more browning
Without further ado, here’s the recipe for crispy, roasted rutabaga fries.
- 1 large rutabaga (about the size of a large russet potato)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 Tbsp tallow, lard, or coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- dash of cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Peel rutabaga and slice into fries (This mandolin makes quick work of it, but a good knife will work, too.)
- On a large sheet pan, toss remaining ingredients together (If fat/oil is solid, put the pan in the oven for a few minutes until melted. Then toss to coat rutabaga evenly.)
- Roast for 20-30 minutes on the BOTTOM RACK of the oven, turning once to ensure even cooking.
- Fries are done when lightly browned and crisp around the edges.
Some interesting rutabaga facts:
- Rutabaga is a cruficerious vegetable (believed to be a cross between turnip and cabbage), and therefore contains a good deal of sulfur compounds. So don’t be surprised if your house smells a bit like broccoli or cabbage while these roast. I promise the smell is MUCH stronger than the taste.
- Rutabaga leaves are a nutritional powerhouse. Don’t throw them away! Cook them like collard greens or (my preference) add to soups and stews.
- Rutabaga is a surprisingly good source of vitamin C. If you can’t get your hands on much fresh produce during the winter months (#Alaskaproblems), perhaps make a batch of rutabaga fries!
Now I’d like to hear from you:
Have you ever cooked with rutabaga? What’d you think?
Tell me about it in the comments below.
Until next week,
PS – Want more veggie recipes (that actually taste good)? Grab a copy of my free ebook below – or HERE – and see how tasty veggies can be!