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Spicy Pickled Rutabaga


Spicy Pickled Rutabaga

Spicy pickled rutabagas

Leda Meredith

Usually relegated to a back up role in stews or mashed potato variations, this piquant pickle brings rutabagas into the spotlight. Serve these on their own as a snack. or to accompany roasted poultry or meat.

Rutabagas are inexpensive, low in calories, and rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium and fiber.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Brining time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes


  • 2 pounds rutabagas

  • for the salt brine:

  • 1/4 cup kosher or other non-iodized salt

  • 1 quart water plus 1/2 cup, divided

  • for the pickling brine:

  • 1 pint apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (smoked paprika is great here if you have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder


Slice off the stem and root ends of the rutabagas. Peel, using a paring knife rather than a vegetable peeler (the outer layer of rutabagas can be tough to chew on and thicker than a vegetable peeler can remove).

Cut the peeled rutabagas into approximately 1/2-inch strips, about the size and length of french fries.

Dissolve the salt in 1 quart/liter of water. Add the rutabaga strips to the salt brine and let them soak for 4 hours or overnight.

Drain the rutabagas in a colander.

Pack the rutabagas tightly into clean canning jars (it is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe). Make sure the pieces of rutabaga are short enough to allow for at least 1/2-inch head space between the top of the food and the rim of the jars. You want the vegetables to be really packed in tight so that they won't float up out of the final pickling brine.

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, 1/2 cup water and honey. Bring to a boil and then immediately turn off the heat.

While the vinegar brine is coming to a boil, toast the cumin and mustard seeds in a dry skillet over low heat for 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring constantly.

Stir the toasted cumin and mustard seeds, paprika, coriander and cayenne into the vinegar brine. Stir in the lemon juice. Pour the brine into the jars. The rutabagas should be completely immersed in the brine, but there still needs to be a 1/2-inch of air between the surface of the brine and the rims of the jars.

Secure canning lids and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

It takes 1 to 2 weeks for the flavors to develop and mellow. Try to wait that long before sampling.

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