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What is a Rutabaga?

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Question: What is a Rutabaga?
I see rutabagas in lots of recipes, but I am embarrassed to admit that I have no idea what one is. What is a rutabaga?
Answer: Rutabaga is a root vegetable that is comparable to a turnip. It is thought to have originated as a cross between a turnip and cabbage, and has a taste reminiscent of the two. It has a yellowish orange skin with obvious ridges near its top.

Its uses in cooking vary greatly, as the vegetable can be eaten raw or cooked. They are perfect chopped or diced and added to salads, or can be roasted, boiled or mashed. They are an excellent low-calorie food, and have virtually no fat per serving.

In the United States, rutabagas are fairly uncommon, and so it may not be possible to find them at your local grocer. Search farmer’s markets or vegetable stands, particularly April through December when rutabagas are harvested. To prepare, first wash the rutabaga and peel in the way you would a potato. In the refrigerator, rutabagas will keep up to two months.
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