How to Cook Turnips, Celeriac, and Rutabagas
By Daisy Luther
So…after you saw last week’s infographic on the budget-friendly winter vegetables you should be eating, you decided to go for it. You went to the farmer’s market and got yourself some winter vegetables. They’re the best bargain around this time of year, so you were very happy to see how affordable they are.
But now, you have a lumpy pile of unfamiliar produce on your cutting board. What the heck do you do with this?
Part of the reason people are hesitant to try new vegetables is because they honestly have no idea how to cook them. On the cutting board above, there are (clockwise, beginning at the left) turnips, celeriac, rutabaga, and, of course, onion. They’re rustic looking, unfamiliar, and intimidating to some.
All of these are root vegetables, and with the exception of the onion, all can be treated just like a potato. You can mash them, slice them and fry them, add them to stew, puree them into a soup, or you can roast them.
Yesterday, while I had chicken roasting in the oven, I put in a tray of winter veggies to roast as well. Roasting tones down the more pungent flavors and makes them a bit sweeter and milder. (Although rutabagas are always sweet and mild.)
How do you cut up root vegetables?
First, if you’ve opted to roast the vegetables, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. For each of them, the simplest way to do this is to slice off the ends so you can see what you have to work with, then peel them.
Anytime you have a vegetable that is unfamiliar, the simplest way to deal with it is to slice off the ends so you can see what you have to work with. Then once you’ve seen the thickness of the skin, you can peel them using the most applicable method.
As you can see above, the turnip has the thinnest skin. You could use a vegetable peeler for that, but the skin of the rutabaga and celeriac will require a sturdy paring knife. Once the peel is off, you can cut these particular vegetables up the same way you would a potato – there isn’t a core of any type inside.
At this point, you can cut your unfamiliar vegetable in half to discern whether or not there’s a core to deal with. These particular vegetables can be treated the same way you would a potato – there isn’t a core of any type inside.
Recipe: Roasted Winter Vegetables with Herbs
- 3-5 cups of chopped root vegetables, any proportion: turnips, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, celeriac, rutabagas, beets, onion – whatever you have available
- 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
- Minced garlic to taste
- Seasonings of choice
- 2-3 pieces of bacon (optional)
Once they’re cut into chunks, put the vegetables in a large bowl and use a rubber spatula to toss them with some olive oil and the seasoning of your choice. I added minced garlic and chopped onion, and for spices I used salt, fresh cracked pepper, parsley, thyme, Hungarian paprika, and celery seed. You can also use a general seasoning salt (there are some great recipes for seasoning salt
I added minced garlic and chopped onion, and for spices I used salt, fresh cracked pepper, parsley, thyme, Hungarian paprika, and celery seed. You can also use a general seasoning salt (there are some great recipes for seasoning salt HERE.) I added a few slices of bacon to the top of our mixture, because YUM, but that’s entirely optional.
Your oven should be pre-heated to 400 degrees. Slide the tray of veggies onto the top rack of the oven and set the timer for 50 minutes. You’ll want to stir the veggies once or twice during the roasting time to ensure they don’t stick and that they get deliciously golden brown on all sides.
When they’re done, they should be fork tender, but lightly crisp on the outside.
About the Author
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.