The eternal quest for the healthier alternatives continues. This time, in an attempt to imitate potato fries, I tested rutabaga. It is said to be a cross between cabbage and turnip; in a raw form, it certainly smells like cabbage. It’s not as weird-looking as our previous candidate, celeriac:
Let’s compare the nutrition facts for all three:
As you can see, celeriac is still ahead, but rutabaga is not far behind, and at a half the potato’s calories and carbs it’s still a worthy alternative. Also, in my neck of the woods, it’s a 1/4 of the celeriac’s price.
Cooking it is as simple as it gets. Peel it with a knife (its skin is too firm for a potato peeler) and cut into fries. Its flesh is surprisingly firm, so sharp knife worked better than a mandolin or a french fry cutter. To make them crispy, cut them a bit thinner than potato fries. Spread the fries on a baking pan in a single layer and add lard or oil.
Sprinkle with spices (my mix is in a recipe below; for the next time I’ve decided to try an Italian seasoning) and put in an oven preheated to 425F (220C). Roast for 20-30 minutes, until they start browning. Finish them up by broiling for 2-3 minutes to make edges crispier.
It tastes close to celeriac, although there is some difficult to define difference. All in all, it’s delicious. A dollop of a sour cream on top made a nice finishing touch. Forgive me for a not-too- sophisticated image, appetite was running high at this point:
They certainly come out crispier than celeriac. On the mashed potato imitation side, I haven’t tried that yet but I have no doubt rutabaga will work beautifully as well.
- 1 large rutabaga
- 3 Tbsp lard or oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt/pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 F (220C).
- Peel rutabaga and slice into thin fries with a sharp knife.
- Spread the fries on a large sheet pan covered with foil.
- Toss the ingredients together.
- Roast for 20-30 minutes.
- Finish by broiling until lightly browned and crisp around the edges.