What do you get when you cross a wild cabbage with a turnip? If you said a rutabaga, then you are right. And if you said, what’s a rutabaga, well you’re probably not alone.
Originally, this root vegetable was grown as feed for livestock. But once its sweet taste and nutritious properties were embraced, it began to be harvested for human consumption as well. While the entire vegetable–root and leaf– can be eaten raw or cooked, the starchy bulb tends to be most commonly used for cooking. In American cuisine, the root adds bulk and flavor to stews or can e found mashed with carrots or baked in pastries. In other cultures, the root is julienned for salads or mashed with butter and cream, having a texture similar to the potato. Either way, the rutabaga pairs well with beef and pork. And if you want to enjoy your produce in a crafty (not culinary) fashion, then follow the Scotts, the Irish, and those from the UK who carve the root in place of a pumpkin for halloween.