Rutabagas are one of those vegetables that I never really thought about before we started the CSA. When we got our first one, I had no idea what to do with it. I opted to make a soup recipe that I found in a veggie cookbook, and I wasn't impressed.
Then I was told by someone at the farm (he must have seen me wrinkle my nose at being handed another rutabaga) that rutabagas sweeten up when they are roasted. He suggested a touch of honey with them. Trying that pretty much kicked off my relationship with rutabagas. I'm a fan now, for sure. The dish has changed a bit, honey switched to maple syrup, a touch of seasoning...but it's still really delicious.
It's an easy enough dish to fix. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel and chop your rutabaga into pieces around half an inch square.
Toss it in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch of pepper and a tiny bit of cayenne. If you want to go more the sweet route than the spicy, a pinch of cinnamon is a great sub in for the cayenne.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and spread the coated rutabaga in a single layer on the sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until the rutabaga is golden and tender.
Rutabaga has a particular taste, but not unpleasant. I will confess that I get very excited when I see rutabaga in the CSA line these days, just so I can make this dish. My kids are won over by the maple syrup, and I'm happy that we're all enjoying a vegetable that I was once clueless about how to prepare.
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