Rutabagas have to be the most under-appreciated vegetable in the produce aisle. They are hard to find and hard to even find recipes for. But they are delicious! And I believe that they are poised for a rise in popularity. They certainly deserve it more than kale. Now would be a good time to move your assets to rutabaga.
Rutabagas are a cross between a turnip and cabbage, which is exactly the sort of detail that the Rutabaga Marketing Council ought to avoid, because it truly sounds awful. But rutabagas are more than the sum of their parts. Mild and sweet, they will make you question why anyone bothers planting turnips, when they could use that same space for the wonderful rutabaga.
I have about a million ideas for what to do with rutabagas, but since the only ones I get come from the CLU garden, I may not get to do much experimentation. Last night I turned three of them into a gratin. And then I had to physically move the gratin away from the table because I could not stop eating it.
- 2 – 3 rutabagas (about 3 pounds), peeled and sliced thin
- 1 C cream
- 2 C shredded mozzarella (I chose a mild flavored cheese because I wanted to really taste the rutabaga, but you can certainly choose a stronger one)
- 2 tbs butter
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Set a pot of water to boil. Boil your rutabaga slices for 5 minutes. Drain them and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small saucepan. Add garlic and saute it for a minute or so. Add cream and heat through. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Assemble the gratin by first adding a little cream to the bottom of your dish. Then cover it with rutabaga slices. Add a sprinkling of cheese, and another swirl of cream, and repeat until all the rutabaga is used up and you have a layer of cheese on top. Bake for 25 minutes. Kick the heat up to 400 and bake for 5 minutes more.