What's in Season

What’s in Season: Rutabaga

For a fall stew, don’t overlook this oft-forgotten veggie

illustration: Illustrations by John Burgoyne

Growing up in Alabama, Vicky Moore didn’t go to
day care. She got dropped off at her grandmother’s, where she spent all day digging in her sprawling garden.

“All of the vegetables and produce we ate came from that garden, from squash to any kind of pea you could think of,” says Moore, now the executive chef at the Lazy Goat in Greenville, South Carolina.

But one of her favorite fall finds was, and remains, the underrated rutabaga, a cross between a cabbage and a turnip that originated in Sweden in the 1600s (it was also the original jack-o’-lantern). Sturdier than standard turnips, rutabagas are ideal for braising, and the greens are an excellent option as you wait for collard season.

Moore remembers her grandmother braising rutabagas along with their greens in ham-hock stock. In her own kitchen, she likes to use whatever meat she has on hand (say, bacon) and add onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey, and hot sauce to create a hearty fall stew.

Rutabagas will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month, so pick up several when you spot them. You could even carve one up to keep your pumpkin company.