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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Saturday
Mar062010

Rutabaga Fries (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

My aunt, uncle, and I made the trek back to Wisconsin this weekend to visit my parents and grandparents.  Tonight we got together for a big family dinner, all eight of us.  My dad grilled hamburgers, which were accompanied by a big greens salad, roasted potatoes, and rutabaga fries.  I introduced my parents to rutabaga fries last year and ever since they've become a regular staple at their dinners.  

Rutabaga, in my opinion, is one of the tastiest vegetables around, but is also misunderstood and underappreciated! First of all, a rutabaga is not a turnip.   Rutabagas are golden yellow with a purple top and are generally fairly large, like the size of a baseball to as large as a softball sometimes.  Turnips are most commonly white with a purple top (although there are heirloom scarlet turnips), and usually fairly small (ranging from golf ball to baseball-size).  Since rutabagas are often mistaken for other things, they get overlooked, and underused.  You can almost always count on them being in stock at the grocery store, because they aren't very popular. For those of us in the know this is great, because they are totally inexpensive.  Rutabagas are full of vitamin C and fiber, and have naturally antibacterial properties like all crucifers.  Rock on!  Plus, they are awesomely versatile. Rutabagas can be eaten raw or cooked.  Eaten raw, they are crisp and crunchy, with a slightly sweet, bity, cabbagey flavor.  Sometimes I eat them grated in salads, or just plain with bean dip. My mom used to grate them and put them in these huge sub sandwiches we ate on car trips when I was a kid. Cooked, they are earthy and awesome.  I love them in stews and soups and vegetable pies, and they are amazing roasted. 

But my favorite way to eat rutabaga? You guessed it: fries.

I've always been a fry fan. I never cared much for potatoes except for in fry form.  When I stopped eating potatoes, I had to satisfy my fry desires in other ways.  So, I started making fries from other root veggies, like sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, and rutabaga!  Rutabaga becomes very sweet and just a little crisp on the edges when cooked as fries.  My mom recently bought a super cool crinkle cutter, which makes absolutely awesome crinkle cut rutabaga fries.  I need to get a crinkle cutter ASAP.  

Tonight the rutabaga fries were gone before the roasted potatoes were.  Take that, taters.  The other delightful addition to our meal was a gluten free, vegan, sugar free chocolate mint trifle.  It tasted sinful, but it absolutely wasn't. 

What started as an idea for a layer cake sort of transformed when my cake layers were way to tough and spongy to be served in regular cake form.  But cubed?  The cake was perfect! So, I decided I would make a trifle instead of a layer cake.  My avocado-based chocolate frosting was just like a pudding, so made a second batch of frosting/pudding sans chocolate and with mint instead.  Then Ilayered it all in my mom's crystal trifle dish.  It was amazing.  My whole family flipped for it. No one had any idea they were eating avocado, especially sugar free avocado.  I'd never made a trifle and it was a lot of fun, and was perfect way to use my less than perfect cake layers.  I am totally going to tweak this recipe a little more and make it again and will share it with you.  It was killer. I am eating leftovers tomorrow for breakfast.  Hey, when life gives you tough cake, make trifles.  Then make rutabaga fries.

 

Rutabaga Fries (gluten free, vegan, ACD)

This recipe is variable - make as much or as little as you'd like!

yield: variable | active time: 10 minutes | total time: 45 minutes - 1 hour

rutabaga

olive oil

sprinkle of garlic powder

sprinkle of sea salt & freshly cracked pepper

sprinkle other herbs of choice - parsley, basil, thyme, Italian herb mixes, etc.  Tonight we used my dad's homemade herb mixture du jour.

Pre-heat oven to 425º.  Line a baking sheet with parchment or coat with olive oil.

Peel rutabaga using  a sharp knife.  Slice into 1/2" sticks using a knife or a crinkle cutter.  Place rutabaga sticks in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat.  Sprikle with garlic powder, sea salt, pepper, and any other herbs of choice, toss to coat, then transfer to pan.  Give a final sprinkle of seasoning, then place in the oven.  

Bake until tender and slightly crisp, about 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes so they don't burn.  Depending on your oven, it may take more or less time, so be sure to check often.

Serve hot.  Very tasty with any of your favorite dips. I like them with homemade mustard, my dad likes them with ketchup.  I have also made creamy dips from tahini or cashew butter, and they are awfully tasty dipped in that.

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Reader Comments (14)

Wow, this sounds absolutely amazing. I cant wait for the trifle recipe!!

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

You are right. Almost nobody, with the exception of people with a Nordic/Scandinavian background, eats Rutubaga. If folks just tried it they would like it. I have made a variety of "fries" in the past and they were all excellent (Rutabage,turnip parsnip, celeriac etc...).

March 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEd Schenk

I adore rutabaga! I love roasting it after tossing it with olive oil, fresh lemon, sea salt and tarragon, but it's pretty killer just about any way.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKris

Oh, yum! You re-ignited my love for rutabaga with this - I made some tonight with sea salt, garlic powder & Italian seasoning and ate an entire rutabaga. Talk about delicious. My grandmother used to make mashed rutabaga and I loved it, but this was great. Now I need to get one of those awesome crinkle cutters.

March 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Sarah - yes, trifle! I must try it again. it was so good!

Ed - So true, isn't it?! I don't know why more people don't eat rutabaga, it is so good! I love root veg fries, all types! Have you tried Jerusalem artichokes?

Kris - yum, the tarragon version sounds delectable! thanks for sharing that great idea. I could eat tarragon on anything.

Heather - a girl of my own heart! I have eaten an entire rutabaga on more than one occasion...so glad to have reignited your love for the humble rutabaga! isn't that crinkle cutter too cool? I totally want one.

Wow! I can't believe I actually have a crinkle cutter! My mum got it for me ages ago and I've never been inspired to use it! Can't wait to try this!

And yes, chop chop with that trifle recipe...looks AMAZING!

March 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I made roasted rutabaga fries (sadly un-crinkled) last night. They were really good! I think they'd stand up nicely to some really deep-flavored spicing, maybe a Moroccan type spice mix? I love (used to love?) doing my roasted potatoes with spice mixes.

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

Leah - yes, in my dreams they are seasoned with berbere or ras el hanout or garam masala or curry powder or something. but sadly, I'm allergic to chili pepper, cinnamon and cloves, and pretty sensitive to nutmeg and ginger. so, my romance with the deep-flavored spices of MOrocco/Middle East/India/Africa needs to be on hold. You should do it though, it sounds amazing!!!! :)

March 11, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living

Swoon. I'm not doing potatoes right now and I have to try this... YUM!

-Sea

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersea

Yum, these are great and i've made them several times since you posted the recipe! I don't have a krinkle cutter (yet) and mine always turn out pretty dark. They're still delicious, but what should i change to get them that golden color? thanks!

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarah

Sarah - it may be that they are just getting too dark. You could try lowering the temperature to 400 and cooking for slightly longer, it won't brown them as fast. Good luck, and I'm so glad you enjoy them! :)

March 22, 2010 | Registered CommenterKim @ Affairs of Living

thanks, i'll give that a try! sarah

March 31, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersarah

yum! Just made these for my family. I get such a kick out of knowing I got my kids to eat rutabaga. I soooo wouldn't have even given it a chance when I was a kid. Big fans here!

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynette
Your trifle sounds delicious. Did you get a chance to try the gluten free, vegan, sugar free chocolate mint trifle again? I have done a search on your website but could not find the recipe. It sounds sooo good! The avocado based,sugar free frosting/pudding sounds amazing too. If you have the recipe and are willing to share, I would love to try it.
Thanks!
August 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusie
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo