While wandering the produce aisle the other day as part of date night, we both noticed a vegetable we’d never really paid attention to before – the lowly rutabaga. We decided it was about time to give rutabaga a try. We’re not really fans of turnips, and I guess I just assumed it would taste similar to those, but we were wrong. In doing some research to learn how to cook it, I discovered that many people consider it to be their favorite vegetable! I don’t know that we’re ready to give it that status, but we actually did like it, and would consider it to taste more like cauliflower than anything else. So, if you haven’t ever tried rutabaga, give it a chance!

The first time we tried it, I simply peeled, chopped, boiled and mashed. (And then forgot to take a “pretty” picture of the finished dish.) This time I’ll follow an actual recipe; it came from a Martha Stewart Living magazine I read while waiting for the car’s brakes to be redone, and is supposedly special enough to serve as a side for Christmas dinner. We’ll see.

Mashed Rutabaga and Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cubed
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped (or some dried sage)
1/2 cup cream

Cook the vegetables in boiling water until tender, about 15 minutes. (I guess it depends upon the size of your chunks.) Drain and set the colander aside.

In the same pan, melt the butter, then cook the garlic in it for a few minutes. Return the vegetables along with the remaining ingredients and mash together. Salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8-10.

Note that the 15 minute cooking time really does depend on the size of the pieces. Or maybe we just had a tough rutabaga. Because it took over 45 minutes to cook and even then wasn’t super tender. But the resulting side dish was just fine.