Rutabaga, Mashed A Fearless Friday Experiment

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Heather says:

Welcome to the Fearless Friday that almost wasn’t. I’ve been under the weather and limited to soups and very soft foods. Being the masochist I am, I’ve also been paging through and drooling over my cookbooks waiting for the day I can manage them. Thursday’s dinner prep rolled around and as I stood there, I realized I had given absolutely no thought to this week’s Fearless Friday.

I looked around the kitchen somewhat desperately, trying to find a balance between something I had the energy to try and the ability to eat. Since I’ve been trying to focus on seasonal cooking my eyes landed on the rutabaga lurking on my counter. Perfect, I thought.

Fearless Fridays are a weekly event where readers of this site share their culinary adventures. For some, it’s simply the act of preparing a meal in their home instead of hitting the drive through. For others it’s trying new foods, recipes, or techniques. It’s a chance to push against our boundaries and maybe discover new favorites. Not every attempt will be successful  but everyone is encouraged to share, if you have a blog post a link to your post below, if you have a Flickr account share a picture, and if you have neither? Just share in the comments.

What do you do with a rutabaga?

I had planned roasting this rutabaga with turnips and carrots. Instead I decided to try mashing it. It was ridiculously easy. Cut off both the top and root, then use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the waxy outer layer. Cut the vegetable into equal size pieces and steam, either in a steamer or in a pot with an inch or so of water.

Steam until tender, I was distracted, but I think it took 30 minutes.

At first, I tried to use a pastry blender to mash the steamed rutabaga, but I quickly gave up and broke out my immersion blender. Rutabaga is not as starchy as potatoes and even using a stick blender, it did not become gluey. Since I had never used rutabaga before, I simply added butter, salt, and fresh ground pepper.

The results?


The mashed rutabaga is slightly sweeter than a mashed potato, but not as sweet as a squash. It has a faint “root” like taste, I don’t know how to describe it, other than it reminds me of the smell of pulling weeds in the summer.

Before experimenting, I wanted to try it plain, I wanted a feel for the vegetable with the silly name. In the future, I’ll steam it with stock, either chicken or vegetable and I’ll add herbs that complement the main dish. I’ll experiment with adding a splash of milk or cream, as I do with mashed potatoes, but mostly I’ll just be sure this previously ignored vegetable becomes a part of our diet.

What did you do for Fearless Friday?

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15 thoughts on “Rutabaga, Mashed A Fearless Friday Experiment”

  1. That sounds really yummy to me, you're making me want to give it a try! I assume they sell them in the produce dept near the potatoes? I have never in my life had one, but I love potatoes of all types and squash of all types.

  2. Thanks Heather – I've never had rutabagas either, though I've not been too thrilled with their sibling, turnips. It looks like I'm going to be on the lookout for them at the market tomorrow. . .

    • I find turnips to have more of bite / bitterness to them. Perhaps it was the way I have prepared turnips, the rutabaga didn't seem to have that quality or if it did, it was much less pronounced.

  3. Wow, Heather, I know you were feeling crappy this week, and yet you managed this with pictures, even. Impressive!

    I've only had rutabaga raw, which I do like, if it's not too old. You still get that sweet-ish taste. But, I do know that, like with many veggies, the nutrients (especially the minerals) are more easily absorbed when it's at least lightly cooked and buttered. So, maybe I'll pick one up and try it soon. I wonder how roasted rutabaga would be?

  4. Fearless Friday: our dishwasher started puking water all over the floor a few days ago. It took me a while but I figured out what was wrong and how to fix it. All. By. Myself. No Help From Boys. 🙂

    The whole inside really needed cleaning out because I hadn't done it in a few years. Turned out the float switch was sticking and allowing too much water to come in because it wasn't shutting off. Works great now

    Didn't post my fearless friday earlier because I was going to do it as a nice long blog post to link to, but yeah, life happened. So, there ya go.

  5. A good place to look for rutabaga recipes is the BBC Television food website. This sort of veg is far more popular there than here. But, they call them swedes. Go to and enter 'swede' in the recipe search box. If I knew HTML, I'd put a link to a completed search in, but since I dont and the link is 4 lines long, I won't!

    (They also like Brussels Sprouts a lot, should you ever need recipes for them!)

  6. I have never had rutabaga in my life. Wouldn't have recognized it if I stumbled across it. Am now intrigued. Not sure if I'm intrigued enough to cook it or not though. I mean… it's rutabaga!

  7. I am not much of a veggie person, but I *love* mashed ruttabaga! Usually, I add in some bacon bits and cook for a long time (45 mins to an hour), then pour out most of the juice and hand mash. Often I’ll save some juice in case I’ve poured out a little too much.

    Interesting to note, if you add more salt after cooking, it tastes sweeter. I always end up adding as little extra when it is on my plate. YUM!

  8. We love to roast winter vegetables in the oven in a heavy metal pan with the heat up to 425 or 450. Cut up rutabagas, sweet potatoes, leeks mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, parsnips, a carrot , and an onion cut into wedges. Drizzle with good olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and toss to coat. I live at 6000 feet above sea level, so I roast for almost an hour. You can take a spatula and turn half way through


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