Roasted Rutabaga

Two different presentations — same ingredients. That’s what you get with my roasted rutabaga recipe with fresh sage and Medjool dates.

Last week I was staring at some rutabagas, but figured they were just barely above Brussels sprouts on the vegetable pecking order — in other words, I didn’t think I’d care for them.

Fortunately my Facebook friends came to rutabaga’s rescue, suggesting every thing from a plain butter/salt/pepper mash, to adding a vanilla bean, to loading up a spicy curry or beef stew with them.

In the end I roasted them in the oven with a sweet onion and whole cloves of garlic, drizzled with olive oil, of course.

My dilemma was what to do next? I have to admit that sticking a fork in them and calling it a day was tempting — and tasty, too.

But you know me — can’t leave well enough alone — especially when my garden’s sage and McClendon’s Select Medjool dates were an option. And I didn’t want to add cream or butter, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

So I made a “pistou” of sage, dates and roasted garlic. Pistou is a French olive oil sauce similar to pesto.

My version isn’t a true pistou, which is basil, garlic and olive oil muddled together to top a rustic vegetable soup, but this is my recipe so I can call it what I want — a sage date pistou.

I stirred some of the pistou into mashed rutabagas, making the naturally sweet vegetable a tad more sweet.

(You can spoon the remaining pistou over goat cheese for an impromptu snack, served with a fruity rosé, perhaps.)

Mashing the roasted rutabaga was a little more trouble than serving them cubed — and making the pistou is even more effort, but it is so darn delicious.

I did get the same sweet, earthy taste from the rutabaga cubes topped with sliced sage and chopped dates, so that’s the way to go if you’re pressed for time.

The printable recipe below gives instructions for roasting rutabagas, and then details the easy route (just garnishing with chopped dates and sage) and the not-as-easy route (mashed with pistou).

Either way — cubed and roasted, or roasted and mashed — it’s a delicious seasonal side dish, perfect to pair with roast chicken or pork.

And now I have a whole new appreciation for this winter root vegetable (also called a swede or yellow turnip).

Rutabagas just moved up a couple of notches on the vegetable pecking order. (Sorry Brussels sprouts — your still stuck at the bottom.)

(printable recipe)

What do you think about rutabagas?

9 replies
  1. Sally Cooper
    Sally Cooper says:

    OMG, when I was growing up, my grandparents always brought rutabagas to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. My grandmother prepared them in a pressure cooker (as I recall) and they stunk up the whole house. The rest of us hated them. I’m not sure I ever ATE them because I couldn’t get past the smell. Not sure I’m brave enough to try them now……Hummmm

    • Gwen Ashley Walters
      Gwen Ashley Walters says:

      Sally, you’ve heard of a super taster? Maybe you’re a super smeller? ha! I wasn’t offended by the smell these emitted from the oven. I don’t know… maybe if I’d just boiled them. But roasting brings out a sweet, caramel smell. And they tasted faintly like candy with a slight anise flavor. I loved them.

  2. Kitty
    Kitty says:

    Tonight for dinner I roasted cubed, rutabagas, carrots, sweet potatoes and a couple of chopped sweet onions. Oil and sprinkle with cinnamon, roasted in a 400 degree oven until slightly browned and crisped around the edges. SO good!

    Served with Saged pan sauteed chicken breasts.
    I love roasting root veggies. Sweetens them up so nicely.

  3. Zoe
    Zoe says:

    I have one rutabaga that I’m going to roast with onion and caraway seeds. It’s going to be my first time. I have raisins, too. Your use of dates has influenced me. Thank you!

  4. Judith Newman
    Judith Newman says:

    Every Thanksgiving I boil a pot of potatoes and boil about 3 rutabegas…I drain and combile them ..mash them together with butter…We call it “mousse”. my family loves this so much that they look forward to having them ever year. Try them you’ll like them.

    • Gwen Ashley Walters
      Gwen Ashley Walters says:

      Judith, that sounds fantastic! I will try that next time I plan on mashed potatoes. Thank you for the suggestion!


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