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Fall Fest: Rutabaga Puff

Since we are celebrating root vegetables at Fall Fest this week, I decided it was time explore the world of the rutabaga.  Up until recently, the only thing I knew about rutabagas is that they live next to turnips in the produce section at the grocery store.  And I know nothing about turnips.

But thanks to the internet, I now know that rutabagas are a root vegetable that supposedly evolved from a cross between a wild cabbage and a turnip.  They look a lot like a turnip, but are yellow instead of white and have a rougher skin.  The flavor is supposed to be sweeter than a turnip.  Rutabagas can be prepared in many different ways, but mashed or roasted seem to be the most popular ways to go.

I had originally planned on roasting a few different root vegetables together and tossing them with butter and herbs.  I even bought some golden beets and colorful carrots to accompany rutabaga in the roasting pan.  But then I ran across this recipe for Rutabaga Puff and thought it might be fun to let this unfamiliar root be the star of the show tonight.  Rutabaga Puff is a casserole made from puréed rutabaga, egg, a bit of flour and leavening, and a few light seasonings.  It’s topped with buttered crumbs and baked – the puff comes from the egg and baking powder.

Since I’m cooking for one these days, I cut the recipe in half and divided the rutabaga mixture into three individual baking dishes to make cute little single-serving casseroles.  The only change I made to Alanna’s recipe was to add about 1/4 cup of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano to the purée.

The casseroles turned out great – lightly browned and crunchy on top, creamy inside.  The flavor of the rutabaga is hard to describe.  It was a bit sweet and a bit bitter and I could definitely taste a hint of cabbage.  I’ll admit that I didn’t immediately love it.  I took a few bites and set it down, turned off by the bitterness.  But I found myself wanting to eat more, and by the time I finished my little bowl I felt like I really enjoyed it.

I definitely think I’ll eat more rutabagas this fall and winter and am looking forward to roasting some next.  For those of you who eat rutabagas, how do you like to prepare them?  Please feel free to share links to your favorite recipes for rutabaga or any other root vegetables in the comments section.

Don’t forget to check out Alanna’s recipe for Rutabaga Puff.

Root Vegetable Recipes from the Fall Fest Gang:

How You Can Join Fall Fest 2010

Welcome to Fall Fest! Have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes? You can contribute to our online recipe swap in various ways, big or small.

Contribute a whole post, or a comment—whatever you wish. It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Fall Fest post on my blog, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same.

The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. Yes, copy and paste them everywhere! That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits, and some pretty great dialog starts simmering.

Or think bigger: Publish entire posts of your own, if you wish, and grab the Fall Fest 2010 pumpkin badge (illustrated by Matt of Matt Bites).

Summer/Fall Fest 2010 Posting Schedule

7/28: Cukes and Zukes
8/4: Corn
8/11: Herbs, Greens, and Beans
8/18: Stone Fruit – I missed this one!
8/25: Tomatoes
9/1: Sweet and Spicy Peppers
9/8: Garlic
9/15: White (or colorful “white”…but not sweet) Potatoes
9/22: Spinach
9/29: Apples
10/6: Fall Salads
10/13: Pumpkin + Winter Squash – I missed this one!
10/20: Pears
10/27: “Mad Stash” (as in what you’re shoving in freezer/jars/dehydrator, etc.)
11/3: Root veggies
11/10: Brassicas: incl. Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage or other
11/17: Sweet Potatoes