In Season: The peak season for turnips and rutabagas begins in October and lasts through the winter. These root vegetables are available year-round in many markets.What to Look For: In the garden, grocery store, or farmers' market, choose firm, unwrinkled vegetables with root and stem ends intact. Avoid those with soft spots.How to Store: When you get your selections home, cut any green tops down; wrap the vegetables in and airtight bag and store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Use baby turnips within a few days; larger turnips and rutabagas will keep a little longer, some up to several weeks.
The skin of rutabaga is thick and tough, so you'll want to use a sharp, hefty chef's knife to remove it entirely and later to cut the flesh. The maple glaze tends to caramelize quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on the vegetables during the final stage of roasting.
Detox Cred: Try to add one more vegetarian entree to your diet each week. Eating more plant-based meals has been proven to lower your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure. Brussels sprouts contain compounds that trigger the production of detoxifying enzymes in the liver.
Amy Pennington, creator of GoGo Green Garden and Urban Garden Share and author of "Urban Pantry," made-over her favorite childhood recipe. "Every Thanksgiving my mom made mashed rutabaga when we were kids, and no one ate it but my mom and me. I've tweaked the recipe a lot: I've made it vegan, and instead of mashing it together with a bunch of butter and bacon fat, as my mom did, I used a nut cream, which makes the rutabagas velvety in and of themselves. It's much healthier, but it still feels really filling and lush."
A cross between a turnip and a wild cabbage, rutabaga has a distinctly sharp taste. This puree calls for a touch of mascarpone, which mellows the root vegetable's bold flavor. If making the semifreddo, buy a small container of mascarpone and save the rest for dessert.
Moist pieces of chicken derive their crunchy coating from cornflakes in this clever oven-fried variation on an all-American favorite. Rutabaga, a member of the cabbage family, adds to the flavor of mashed potatoes and complements the tangy red cabbage slaw.