Rutabaga Greens

semi-coherent ramblings about food

two words: rutabaga greens

That’s right, everyone’s favorite underdog root vegetable has the most delicious, mildly bitter, and flavorful greens I’ve had in a long, long time. Unfortunately, there are almost no recipes for rutabaga greens on the interweb: you can basically use any spinach recipe you like, and I think you’ll find it’s even better with rutabaga.

I bought some rutabagas and turnips, both with the greens attached, at the farmer’s market in fort greene yesterday. I asked the man running the stand if you can eat the greens, and he said “some people do,” while making a face like “some people eat all sorts of disgusting things, I’m not judging.” They didn’t look especially appetizing, I admit, but they were green, and in December that’s enough. I planned to make a roasted root vegetable puree with the rutabaga, turnips, sweet potato, and onions, but that’s not exactly a meal. So, I decided to top the puree with a classic tomato, chickpea, and greens sauce, and tie the whole thing together with a healthy hit of smoked paprika for both (which is a great substitute for bacon if you’re cooking for a vegetarian. Not that anything can replace bacon, but it adds a layer of smokey, peppery deliciousness that’s pretty damn good).
An hour later, I had roasted vegetables in the cusinart and a spicy tomato sauce on the stove full of rutabaga greens. They reduce a lot, like most greens, and I recommend removing as much of the stems as you have the patience to do before cooking. The flavor is vaguely herbal and spinach-y, and way better than collards or most kale. Plus, apparently these greens are freakishly good for you (turnip and rutabaga greens have almost the same nutritional value). Enjoy.
Pureed Roasted Root Vegetables
1 bunch turnips
1 bunch rutabagas
1 sweet potato
1 medium onion
olive oil to coat
salt and pepper (more than you think)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup milk (you may need more)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Chop all vegetables into small, evenly sized cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Roast vegetables until tender, tossing every 15 minutes or so. They should start to caramelize about 10 minutes before they’re done.
4. Put all the ingredients in a cusinart and puree till smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Spicy Chickpea, Rutabaga Green and Tomato Sauce
olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches greens (I used Turnip and Rutabaga), chopped
1-2 dried red peppers, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
salt and pepper
1-2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1. In a large pan (I used a wok) heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté garlic
2. Add red pepper and greens. sauté until greens have wilted. add salt and pepper
3. Add tomatoes and chickpeas, simmer over medium low heat for around 30 mins. covered. stir occasionally. Serve over puree in wide bowls.