Recipe: Maple-Glazed Rutabaga

Serves 2-4

You could glaze a hub cap and I’d eat it. The key is to make the glazed item tantalizingly sweet – leave a little mystery. I’m not into savory foods swimming in syrup. This Finnish recipe shows lovely restraint, striking a delicate balance. In fact, shortly after I took my first bite I decided to make this recipe as often as possible for the rest of my life.

Rutabagas come from around northern Central Europe. Maple syrup and butter give the root the most addictive flavor and it makes a great side dish for salmon or roast chicken. A total eye opener. The technique would be lovely with any carb – carrots, potatoes, butternut squash – or even a hearty blend of them all.


2 lbs rutabaga (about 3 average rutabagas), peeled and cubed
4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
1/8 cup maple syrup


Dearest readers, meet the mighty rutabaga. Often passed up in the supermarket. Rarely grown at home. A gnarly thing of beauty. You’ll need to peel it and cube it up – make the pieces evenly sized and all will be well with the world.

Melt butter in pan over medium.

When it crackles, add the rutabagas. Increase the heat to high (or medium high if it seems to be too much) and brown the rutabaga. Try not to stir the darlings too often or they will just steam.

While the browning magic is happening, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

When they are pleasantly browned, add maple syrup, toss and cover. Simmer gently until the rutabagas are tender.

I can’t think of a better side dish. I could have eaten this entire bowl myself.

Serve immediately with friends and loud, booming laughter.

Repeat as often as possible.

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  1. It was actually very good, my mother was surprised when she heard that I liked the Rutabaga as she remembered it as a slightly bitter, but it was the way you made it that made it tasty and something you would eat again.

  2. Carrots would sweeten it…

  3. i’m fairly certain that anything glazed with delicious maple syrup would whet my whistle, and this looks fabulous! the rutabaga is terribly underappreciated!


  1. […] my favorites are Grilled Greek-Style Lamb Chops, Spicy Chicken and Peanut Soup (from West Africa), Maple Glazed Rutabaga (Finland), Ethiopian Lamb Stew (Awaze Tibs). All these dishes are so simple to throw together and […]

  2. […] some hearty Finnish fare this Midsummer’s Eve – like this Maple-Glazed Rutabaga, or a side of salmon topped with homemade Scandanavian Mustard & Dill Sauce. Wash it down […]

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