Nidhi Raina’s Bad Boy Rutabaga & Turnips

Yes, we live in Spud Valley, but let’s not overlook the other root vegetables that also flourish in Pemberton’s silt-rich soil. Today, local cook and the wizard behind Nidhi’s Cuisine, Nidhi Raina, gives turnips and rutabagas their due.

I’ve never eaten either, unless it was by mistaken, so it’s surprising to learn that rutabagas and turnips are among the most commonly grown and widely adapted root crop. Rootdown Farms, IceCap Organics and North Arm Farm all grow ’em.

Turnips (brassica rapa) and rutabagas (brassica napobrassica) are relatives – part of  the Cruciferae or mustard family, of the genus Brassica. They are similar in plant size and general characteristics.

rutabaga centre stage in rootdown organic farms winter csa box

The rutabaga, centre stage of Rootdown Organic’s winter harvest box.

They are cool-season crops and can be grown as either a spring or fall crop. Rutabagas are the slower grower – needing on average 90 days. Turnips, have a field to plate timeline of 40 – 75 days, depending on the variety.

raidshes and hakurei turnips at Rootdown organic farm

Hakurei turnips cosying up to radishes at Rootdown Organic Farm.

Bad Boy Rutabaga & Turnips

by Nidhi Raina

Here is the very first recipe inspired by rutabagas and turnips sitting on the supermarket shelf begging to be wowed into a delight on a dinner table this February 2018.


Number of Servings: 4
2 Medium Rutabagas
4 medium Turnips
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium tomato
1/2 inch fresh ginger
1 small jalapeno
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp brown sugar
Flat leaf parsley leaves or sliced green onion
1 cup water
3 tbsp olive oil
1. Wash, pat dry, peel and chop rutabagas and turnips into inch sized pieces.
2. Chop tomatoes and onion and set aside in separate bowls.  Slice the jalapeno and discard seeds.
3. Grate the ginger and set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions, ginger and jalapenos and cook till onions are golden in color.
5. Add the tomatoes, coriander, paprika and turmeric powder.  Cook for a minute.
6. Add the rutabagas and turnips and toss in the mix so its well coated.  Add salt to taste.
7. Cook the vegetables with 1 cup of water for 15-20 minutes on medium heat making sure the vegetables hold their shape.
8. Add the sugar towards the end and fold in.
9.  Serve warm on brown rice or quinoa.
10. Garnish with a few parsley leaves or sliced green onions.