Hasselback Rutabagas.

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Is it just me that thinks of David Hasselhoff when I hear the term hasselback?

Anyway, I have been thoroughly enjoying the new diet the hubby and I started back in the early part of 2013. All the home cooked, fresh food has been amazing! We’re not only learning so much about cooking and food, but about ourselves as well. One of the things I’ve been learning, is that I absolutely LOVE eating seasonally! With so much food on-demand at the grocery store, I’ve never really had an appreciation for how crops and produce changes throughout the year. There just isn’t the same consideration when you can get everything and anything all year round. Now that we’ve been hitting up the farmer’s markets (so grateful to have a winter market despite the temperatures in this area!) I have been having fun experimenting with the new produce and trying out new recipes. Today’s challenge: how to prep and cook rutabaga.

I don’t recall ever really eating, let alone cooking rutabaga. It’s one of those odd looking root vegetables that I’m sure would have horrified me back in the day. Things have changed quite a bit since then, and today I am super excited about working with the new root. Fortunately, we live in an age of Pinterest and Google, so even if I’ve never seen the stuff, within seconds I have info on what it is, how to prep AND cook it, with potential for some pretty amazing results.

So for today I chose to do hasselback style rutabaga for the hubby and I, based on the recipe I found at the Florida Costal Cooking site. It turned out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. The cook time was a little longer than I anticipated, mostly because in my attempts at healthy cooking, I tend to do more low and slow in hopes of avoiding any chemical breakdown of the oils (and the rutabagas I used were pretty huge). Perhaps that is why these actually turned out quite tender, and the robust, earthy flavor of the rutabage combined with the spiciness of the garlic and onion, all made for an amazing addition to our evening meal. It was a little difficult to get the slits cut as it’s a pretty tough root, but I think it was worth the effort. Next time however, I think I’ll make things slightly easier on myself and go for rutabaga fries (making things even easier with the employ of a mandolin…)! In the mean time, enjoy and let me know if there are any other good tips or tricks when working with rutabaga!

 

This is by far the least fun part, trying to cut into that rutabaga!

 

Minced garlic is definitely the way to go, though I bet a roasted garlic smeared into each slit would be even better….hmmm…next time!

 

Wrap it up good, though not too tight so you can check on it after 30 minutes.

 

And this did not last long! Got devoured pretty quickly, you’ve been warned!

*The Recipe:

  • 2 rutabagas
  • 2 cloves garlic sliced (I made things easier on myself by using minced garlic, and lots of it!)
  • 2 slices red onion (or more depending on the size of the slits and rutabaga itself)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (or your oil of choice, for something really yummy maybe try bacon grease!)
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt (or to your taste)
  • Two pieces aluminum foil for baking.

The Process:

  • Preheat the oven to 425, though depending on the oil/fat being used, lowering the temperature will help keep all those yummy nutrients in tact, or so I hear. I generally cook at 350 just to be safe.
  • Cut the root part of the rutabaga off so it can stand on it’s own, then proceed to approximately 1/4 inch slits from the top down, being careful not to go completely through the rutabaga itself.
  • Now the fun part: start stuffing those slits with onion and garlic. If using slice garlic, alternate as you go, if using minced, I stuffed onion into each slice then added minced garlic to the top.
  • Once the rutabagas are prepped, place them on the aluminum foil and pour your oil of choice over the top, making sure it seeps into each one of those crevices.
  • Next wrap up the rutabagas and place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until tender. Then remove the foil and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the outside is a nice golden brown.
  • Finally: enjoy the heck out of them!
*This is a very flexible recipe, so have fun with it! My rutabagas were pretty huge compared to what I was seeing on the FCC site, so modifications were made both with ingredients and cook time. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and seasonings to suit your palate! 

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