Baked Garlic & Herb Shoestring Rutabagas – Change it up a bit and give the rutabaga the place it deserves at your dinner table with this sweet, savory, and nutritious side dish that’s a breeze to make.
Sadly, this week marked the end of my winter CSA (community supported agriculture) share for the season. With it I received an abundance of microgreens (yay me!), carrots, and one of my winter veggie favorites – rutabagas! I know… Who actually buys those things??
I’d argue that rutabagas (aka “swedes”) are deserving of a higher place at the average dinner table. Rutabagas may be of humble appearance and origin, but they cook up into something mighty good.
The earliest known accounts of rutabagas are from Sweden in the 1600s. They were then known in England in the late 1600s and in Scotland in the 1700s, but weren’t introduced to America until the 1800s. So maybe it’s just that they haven’t been absorbed into our collective consciousness for long enough yet.
Perhaps some of the rutabaga’s bum rap is because at one point in history rutabagas were used to feed livestock. Additionally, they were considered a food of last resort during food shortages in Germany and France during World War I and II. This, however, likely has less to do with taste and more to do with the fact that they store well and have a long shelf life through the winter months.
Rutabagas are a cross between a turnip and a cabbage, and as such are a part of the brassica family of vegetables along with things like cabbage and broccoli.
They have a unique, recognizable odor when you cut into them, and when eaten raw they are crunchy and a little bitter.
Traditionally, the rutabaga is boiled, baked or broiled. It is sometimes also julienned and added to salads, but the rutabaga goes through a real transformation when cooked. It becomes soft, sweet, and savory!
My recipe for Baked Garlic & Herb Shoestring Rutabagas is one that my husband and I can’t get enough of, and it’s easy to make. The sweet, spiralized, and then baked rutabagas join forces with garlic, olive oil, and parsley for a fresh and savory side dish.
Serve in larger portions in place of a pasta entree. Or, if you’re a meat lover, it’s delicious with a skirt steak that has been simply seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!
Garlic Herb Oil