Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rutabaga Fries

Pretty much every root vegetable is fair game for oven fries, but since one of the cookbooks I really adore specifically called these out, I thought they were with a try when some rutabagas showed up in my CSA box. I've never gone out of my way to buy rutabagas, but I certainly don't turn them down when they show up on my plate, though it is quite a rare occurrence. Rutabagas are thought to have originated as a wild cross between cabbage and turnips, so if you are fans of both of these vegetables, you'll likely enjoy rutabagas as well. Roasting helps to mellow out the somewhat sharp and assertive flavor, bringing out a slight sweetness, and thus is gentler way of introducing rutabagas to those who have never tried them before. Now while these won't fulfill a craving for potato fries fresh out of a deep-frier, they are certainly a healthier and easier-to-prepare alternative for the home cook, right at home next to a cheeseburger and cold beer.

Rutabaga Fries
from Veggie Burgers Every Which Way by Lukas Volger
serves 4

2 rutabagas
2 teaspoons potato starch or cornstarch
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

2. Slice off the top and bottom of the rutabagas to that they will rest flat on the cutting board. Then cut off the skin with a sharp paring knife or chef's knife by cutting against the curve of the flesh. (A vegetable peeler unfortunately doesn't cut thickly enough to scrape off all the skin). Cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks.

3. Toss the potato starch with the rutabagas, then add the olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt.

4. Spread the rutabagas onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake, flipping twice, for 25 to 30 minutes, until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Remove with a metal spatula and toss with additional salt to taste.

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