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Produce of the Month: Rutabagas

Rutabagas

Yeah, you heard me -- rutabagas.

This root vegetable is the butt of many a joke and they are butt ugly, but they were half price at the farmer's market last weekend so I picked up a few.

"How do you cook them?" I asked.

"Beats me!" the farmer replied.

I flipped through a few cookbooks and couldn't find anything that looked appealing, so I turned to Epicurious.com and found a rutabaga-carrot puree and made my own version. After peeling and cutting the rutabagas, I had around 2 pounds. I put 'em in a big pot with five carrots, cut into big chunks, then covered everything with salted water and boiled the vegetables for around 45 minutes until everything was pretty soft.

I then drained out the water (I use one of those pasta pots with the draining lids) added a couple tablespoons of butter and a couple tablespoons of honey and a little more salt. Then I pureed everything with a stick blender (only one pot to clean).

Rutabaga_mash Those lowly rutabagas turned golden when cooked, and the carrots added to the orange mash.

I didn't know what to expect when I tasted the finished product, but it was really nice, a bit like mashed sweet potatoes but a little less starchy.

Rutabagas are a pretty good source of vitamin C, folate and fiber. A cup of rutabagas is only 50 calories and 3 grams of fiber, so the rutabaga-carrot mash is a good sub for mashed potatoes.

And the next time someone's trying to unload a bushel of rutabagas, I'll be buying.

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