In Season: Deborah Madison’s Rutabaga ‘Fries’

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Photo: Victor Prado/New York Magazine; Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

A waft of spring may be in the air, but over at the Union Square Greenmarket it’s still a veritable rutabagapalooza for another month or so. Nevertheless, peel down a couple of these rustic bocce balls, slice them into sticks, and try them in this terrific recipe for rutabaga “fries” from veggie whisperer Deborah Madison. It might make you sorry to see winter go.

Deborah Madison’s Roasted Rutabaga Batons With Caraway and Smoked Paprika

2 lbs. rutabagas
2 to 3 tbs. sunflower-seed oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 heaping tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Ketchup, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. (1) Using a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler, peel the rutabagas going right down to where you see the color change in the flesh, about 1/8 inch. Halve them lengthwise, then (2) cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. (3) Cut the slices into batons about 1/2 inch wide. Don’t worry about the oddly shaped ones; they will taste the same. Toss the rutabagas with oil to coat fairly generously, then toss with salt and the caraway seeds. Spread the batons in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast the batons until they have colored a bit, look crisp in places, and are tender when you take a sample bite, about 35 minutes. Twice during roasting, move the batons around the pan to ensure they cook evenly. When the batons are ready, toss them with the paprika, then taste and add more if desired. Serve hot, with or without ketchup. Serves 4. Adapted from Vegetable Literacy, by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed Press; $40).

*This article originally appeared in the March 25, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.