Many people grew up eating pureed rutabaga and it may have turned a few of you away from the root vegetable. If you have yet to discover the joy of roasting rutabaga, you're in for a real treat.
Rutabaga has a sweet, buttery flavor that can be a bit like peppered cabbage, depending on the variety. Roasting rutabaga concentrates and highlights this natural sweetness and it really is one of the best ways to enjoy it on its own.
In this recipe, the rutabaga is seasoned with a dried Italian herb mixture (find it in the spice section at the grocery or make your own), which also highlights the sweetness. A teaspoon of sugar is also included to encourage browning and give the veggies that deep brown, roasted look and flavor.
Give yourself about 40 minutes to roast the rutabaga after it's prepped. It is a fantastic side dish for almost any meal and if you have too much, it freezes well.
- Heat the oven to 400 F.
- Peel the rutabaga and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Place the rutabaga cubes in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cover the bowl with a plate and shake to coat the rutabaga with oil.
- If needed, drizzle a bit more oil to get a good coating.
- Sprinkle the rutabaga with the remaining ingredients and shake again to distribute.
- Transfer rutabaga to a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet.
- Roast in the center of the oven until the edges brown and the rutabaga is tender (about 30 to 40 minutes). Stir it about halfway through to minimize sticking.
The Rutabaga May Stick, But You Can Prevent It
Roasting rutabaga is very easy but there is one common issue. While roasting, the vegetable (and many others) likes to stick to the baking pan and that is why nonstick surfaces and stirring halfway through are emphasized in the recipe.
To combat the issue, try one of these:
- Parchment Paper - Once you discover the beauty of this simple kitchen tool, it will become as vital to your cooking as foil and plastic wrap. If you don't have parchment, line the pan with foil. It doesn't work quite as well, but it helps in a pinch.
- Nonstick Bakeware - Not all nonstick surfaces are created equal. Even if you do have nonstick sheets, parchment may still be necessary, especially with a watery vegetable like the rutabaga.
- Silicone Baking Mats - If you don't like the idea of throwing away parchment all the time, turn to a baking mat. It is a very small investment that can be reused for years to turn any pan into a nonstick wonder.