Friday, November 25, 2011

Skip the Taters, Mash a 'Baga

I love mashed rutabaga for Thanksgiving dinner.  Last year, I planted my rutabaga early with the thought that I would harvest and serve my own rutabaga on the big day.  On Thanksgiving day, I harvested a couple of beauties and cooked them up.  They were just awful; very bitter, and no amount of butter would help.  Off to the compost bin they went.
Purple Top Rutabaga
So, what went wrong?  My best guess is that the weather was the culprit.  It was just too warm in Texas in November.  We hadn't had enough cold weather to bring out the flavor.  To prove this theory, I waited for the weather to provide some significant freezing temperatures.  Sure enough, that did the trick and the rutabaga harvested in January were the best.

To satisfy my craving for Thanksgiving rutabaga, I have to buy them from the grocery store.  Store bought rutabagas are covered in wax to preserve them for storage.
Wax Covered Rutabaga
To prepare them, peel all the wax and outer covering with a potato peeler or paring knife.  Cut the rutabaga into small pieces about 1 inch in size.  Put the rutabaga in a large saucepan and cover with water.  Boil for 20-30 minutes, or until the rutabaga pieces are easily pierced with a fork.  Drain off the water and mash with a potato masher.  Add butter, salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy.
Yummy Buttery 'Bagas


  1. Oh, thanks for that forgotten sweet memory. My grandmother used to always have mashed rutabagas at Thanksgiving. The ones you grew in the too-hot weather are certainly beautiful to look at, anyway!

  2. Did you grow them from seed? If so when did you plant. I was given some seeds at the Seattle Fling and have never even eaten one let alone grown one.