April 20, 2012

Rutabaga and Scallion Mash

I hadn't eaten a rutabaga for years; but last week, when I saw them sitting in the produce section of the commissary, I had a memory of eating it as a child and LOVING it.  My mom loves rutabaga, and lots of cafeteria-style restaurants in Alabama (Piccadilly, Nikki's West, etc.) offer it in the line-up.

I started to grab a bag and put a few in, when, in the back of my mind, I thought:

  • mom used to tell me that rutabagas were extremely hard to peel and chop;
  • it is very likely that I might lose a finger, or at least part of one, to the preparation of this vegetable; and
  • it isn't a very attractive little vegetable: waxy, blemished, rough, and yellowed-brown...do I really want to eat this?!

Well, I guess my answer was yes because, I ended up picking out two medium to large sized rutabagas and placing them into our buggy (for those of you that aren't from the South, that means "shopping cart").  Once I got those two bad boys home I realized that I had no idea how to cook them.


Now I have two incredibly ugly-looking root vegetables rotting away on my counter top...and I have no idea what to do with them.

Double great.

What was I thinking?!

Thankfully, after four or five days of staring at them without any ideas, it hit me!  Everybody loves mashed potatoes, right?!  Well, what about mashed rutabaga?!  Add some Smart Balance and seasonings, and wha-la(!), these rutabagas were going to be the most delicious dish in town!
Slightly-chunky, buttery-rich, and savory-spiced, this rutabaga mash would be the perfect accompaniment to a holiday meal.  I am already planning my Thanksgiving feast this year, and you better believe that these mashed, root beauties are going to be on the menu!

Rutabaga and Scallion Mash
Serves 2

2 medium to large rutabagas, peeled and diced
1 tsp salt (plus more, to taste)
2 1/2 T Smart Balance (or butter)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 heaping tsp dried rosemary
1/4 heaping tsp dried thyme
2 scallion, diced


  • Try not to chop off any of your appendages while peeling and dicing the rutabaga! (I'm serious...this is one tough root vegetable!)
  • Place the rutabaga and 1 tsp salt into a medium saucepan.
  • Cover with water, boil, and then simmer for 30-35 minutes until tender.
  • Drain the rutabaga, and place it into a medium mixing bowl.
  • Mash roughly (I like to keep some small chunks).
  • Add the pepper, rosemary, thyme, scallions, Smart Balance, and any additional salt that you would like.
  • Mix to incorporate.
  • Serve immediately!

Outside of being completely delicious, rutabagas also have several health benefits.  For instance, they:

  • contain significant amounts of Vitamin C (up to 42% of the daily recommended dose);
  • are a good source of fiber, protein, and sugars;
  • contain no starch or cholesterol; and
  • offer some protein.

So what are you waiting for?!  The next time you see this humble root vegetable in your produce section, DON'T HESITATE!  Just bag it up, bring it home, and get to mashing! :)

Question of the Day:

Have you ever eaten rutabaga?  If so, did you like it?!

Ally and Bo


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