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Rutabagas belong to the cruciferous mustard family. Experts believe them to be the offspring of the wild cabbage and the turnip. Their dense, sweet, golden, firm flesh is protected by a thick and fibrous covering. Using a large knife, cut off the crown. You will see the thickness of the peel; use a paring knife, not a vegetable peeler, to remove. Loaded with complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and rich in flavor, add them to soups and stews or grated raw into a salad.
I find Rutabaga indispensable in beef or lamb stew or vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. But after tasting a slice of raw rutabaga, a Delaware North chef was recently heard to say “This is so delicious, I’ll never cook rutabaga again.” Rutabagas have more beta-carotene and vitamin C than turnips, are sweeter and contain less moisture. Try some grated into a salad or cole slaw.