Rutabaga texture?

A couple of nights ago I made a roast chicken on a bed of root vegetables. I decided to try using rutabaga for the first time, and though the flavor was quite good, their texture was less starchy than I expected -- a little beet-like, in fact. They were in an oven at pretty high heat for over an hour and it seemed to me that they were as cooked as they were going to get, but I'm not totally sure what the cooked texture is supposed to be like so I didn't know if they were undercooked or not. I know they're related to turnips, but I'm not terribly experienced with turnips either so I can't really go by that. Help?

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Monita
Monita October 24, 2012

The texture of cooked rutabagas are similar to turnips or even parsnips. They should be fork tender. Best to roast them cut into 3/4" or 1/2" cubes. If cut that size and roasted in a 400 degree oven, they should be done within 40 minutes

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Kristen W.
Kristen W. October 24, 2012

Funny, I did cut in in cubes that size and even started everything at 450 (brought it down to 400 after about 20 minutes. I cooked them for even longer than forty minutes (the butterflied bird cooked in about 45 minutes, plus I left the vegetables in the oven for another twenty while the bird rested b/c the rutabaga didn't seem done). There were parsnips in there too which cooked up just fine. I don't know quite what to make of this...

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fiveandspice
fiveandspice October 24, 2012

You know, I've actually had that happen too, where my rutabaga just wouldn't get tender. Monita is right, they should be fork tender, like roasted parsnip or beet pieces, but the cooking time seems to vary a bit from rutabaga to rutabaga, even if you cut the pieces the same size!

Monita
Monita October 24, 2012

Part of the problem could be the freshness of the rutabaga. An older vegetable may be tougher; take longer to get tender. This is true for most root vegetables

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Kristen W.
Kristen W. October 24, 2012

Yes, I wondered about the freshness question. I guess I'll just have to try again another time and see what happens. Thanks for your input!

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