shaved rutabaga with butter

When I was growing up, I was forced to eat a lot of things that I didn’t want to eat. And my parents – I probably have to blame my dad for this one – were firm believers in the clean-your-plate philosophy. I have vivid memories of swallowing stewed tomatoes whole just to get them off my plate. Other foods that I learned to swallow without chewing? Cooked carrots, Brussels sprouts, and rutabaga. And there were probably more.


Over the years, I’ve overcome my dislike for tomatoes. In fact, I adore tomatoes and would eat them with each meal if possible. I have learned to love Brussels sprouts, and they’re one of my new favorite vegetables. And, recently, I’ve learned to appreciate – and yes, even like – the rutabaga. At a recent dinner, my dad made rutabagas for a side dish, and they were delicious. Even my six year old daughter ate them, and she even wanted seconds.


When I saw a recipe for shaved rutabaga in the latest issue of Food and Wine, I just had to make it. It was delicious – tender and slightly sweet, buttery, with just a hint of black pepper. Plus, I got to play with my new mandoline. And I didn’t lose a finger doing it.



I still don’t like cooked carrots, in case you were wondering.

So, how about  you? Are there any vegetables you have had a love-hate (or hate-love or hate-hate) relationship with?


Shaved Rutabagas with Butter and Black Pepper

Very slightly adapted from Food and Wine. The recipe calls for 8 tablespoons butter and I only used 5 tablespoons.


5 tablespoons unsalted butter
Two 1-1/2 pound rutabagas - quartered, peeled, and shaved to 1/8 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper


In a very large skillet, melt the butter. Add the shaved rutabagas, season with salt and pepper, and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until tender and browned in spots - about 10-15 minutes (be sure to taste towards the end of cooking to make sure the rutabaga is to your liking). Season with pepper, toss, and serve.

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13 Responses to “the fleeting summer and a recipe: balsamic roasted summer vegetables”

  1. Kiran @ — August 5, 2011 @ 1:33 am

    These looks so delish! I love summer produce. It has so much flavor that requires simple prep and minimal ingredients to enjoy. Glad you had quality time with the family 🙂

  2. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — August 5, 2011 @ 1:50 am

    MJ this is a dish that I make often myself – I love it! What a beautiful post too, your writing is so evokative 🙂 And don’t we all need more time… Sigh.

  3. I know how you feel; seems I’ve had some of that same almost melancholy feeling and it’s hard to put your finger on it. The strange thing for me is that even with my kids grown, that season of school starting still impacts my mindset about the end of the summer season.

    I’ll often do much the same as you’ve done but use a grill basket outside; sometimes there is just nothing better than summer fresh produce prepared as simply as possible. Looks beautiful too!

  4. chinmayie @ love food eat — August 5, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    It sounds like you had a great vacation! It is hard to get back to reality after such a dreamy week 😉
    This recipe looks delicious! with so many gorgeous colorful vegetables that looks like heaven!

  5. sweetsugarbelle — August 5, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

    I don’t love summer but I have the same feeling. The only consolation is that it will be soup weather. And next year I will plant a garden. Im looking forward to that. I love roasted veggies. Lookinforward to tying this one!

  6. Heidi @ Food Doodles — August 5, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

    Ah, I know what you mean about summer! I’m looking forward to fall flavors but I need some more summer! Your roasted veggies look great – I love roasting veggies when I have a lot to use up. And they’re so yummy 🙂

  7. Paula — August 6, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    Your vegetables look amazing! I certainly understand what you are talking about regarding summer. Your vacation sounded so peaceful and relaxing. Seems of late that the only time I have to really get into a book is sadly, reserved for vacation times. I think what I took away from this post the most was that we all need to take mini vacations away from our computers and indulge ourselves with the luxury of other things in life that give us so much peace and pleasure.

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — August 7th, 2011 @ 11:57 am

      You are SO right, Paula. I find that if I have little mini-breaks through the year, I’m a much happier woman.

  8. Lucy — August 8, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    Your vacation sounds so wonderful and relaxing. There is nothing like getting away with friends and family. I spent part of the weekend in the mountains with some girlfriends, and we started laughing because we all kept pulling out our phones and one was on her laptop. Then we noticed her tshirt which had one word on the front: Unplugged.

    So hard to do!

  9. Di — August 8, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

    The older I get the more I find that August brings an irrepressible sadness with it. The sun is repositioning, the days are getting shorter and the time we make for ourselves and those closest to us seems harder to find. I don’t think we like to be reminded that winter is coming; like children we try to hold onto spring and summer. I think perhaps the seasons represent a metoaphor for our lives. I suppose we should try our best to savor the moments we have today and look forward to our tomorrows! Your balsamic roasted vegetables and one of those mojitos are two things that will definitely brighten my tomorrow (or perhaps even my tonight!)

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  11. Katelyn — June 24, 2012 @ 2:09 pm

    I just want you to know I’ve made this once a week, every week all summer (in New Orleans summer started somewhere between 6 weeks and 2 months ago). It’s such a great way to use fresh, local ingredients and I just wanted you to know I’ve enjoyed your recipe!

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