Rutabagas aren't as commonly used in the US as turnips and yet they are, in my opinion, much more delicious. In Scotland and other places in Europe rutabagas are known as "yellow turnips" or "Swedes". When raw they have a similar sharp peppery bitter smell and a watery crisp consistency but when roasted rutabagas are much richer than regular turnips. They are a golden color and sweeten with roasting.
In this recipe I have seasoned rutabagas with turmeric which intensify the golden color of the rutabagas and add an additional earthy tone to the flavor. This is a simple side to make to dinner whether you are having a vegetarian main course or a meat dish. It is a fall and winter root vegetable which can be stored in root cellars so may also still be available in early spring, but by mid spring should no longer be making appearances on the dinner table. Enjoy it now!
Turmeric is not a spice I use often but I got inspiration from my friend Riana here on her flickr pages in her series on healing herbs and spices and how to use them in everyday ways.
4 medium to large rutabagas, trimmed cubed to 1" pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
a couple of pinches of coarse sea salt
several grinds of pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large roasting pan or a large heavy duty baking sheet, spread out the rutabagas. Sprinkle the salt and turmeric on the rutabagas. Grind the salt on them. Drizzle all of the oil on them and then, using a spatula, toss the vegetables in the oil and spices until thoroughly coated.
Put in the oven and every ten minutes turn the rutabagas with a spatula to be sure that all sides have a chance to roast. When the rutabagas are soft and melting on the inside with crunchy golden roasted edges, they are ready to serve. At this temperature it should take between 45 minutes and an hour.
Recipe Notes: You can cook these more quickly by increasing the oven heat to 400 degrees, but if you do this you need to check them more frequently to prevent scorching. I like to use an herbed coarse salt on all my roasted vegetables, if you'd like to do the same but don't have any you can simply add 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite dried herb combination.