Farmer’s Market: Rutabaga gaining popularity

Advocate file photo  --  The rutabaga may be substituted for turnips in a recipe. However, the rutabaga's flesh is orange while the turnip's is a creamy white.  Show caption
Advocate file photo -- The rutabaga may be substituted for turnips in a recipe. However, the rutabaga's flesh is orange while the turnip's is a creamy white.

Rutabaga may not be as common on the supper table as potatoes or even turnips; it is gaining in popularity among those trying to add variety to their diets.

It resembles a large turnip and like the turnip, rutabaga is grown for its roots and leaves. It also is similar to turnips in flavor and texture although its flesh is pale yellow or orange while the turnip’s is white. It is a source of carbohydrates and has a small amount of vitamins A and C.

A large winter vegetable of the cabbage family, the rutabaga is now available at local farmers markets. When buying, select smaller rutabaga that are heavy for their size with smooth skins and avoid any that are damaged. Store in the refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to two weeks.

It can be peeled and roasted, cooked in soups, added to casseroles or mashed.