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Rutabaga Ham (Griljerad Kålrot)


Griljerad Kålrot

When is a rutabaga not a rutabaga? When it's a ham, of course.

Kari Diehl
When is a rutabaga not a rutabaga? When it turns into a ham, of course! This vegetarian "ham" has become a favorite substitute for the traditional holiday ham, or skinke, on many Swedish tables.

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings


  • 1 large or 4 small rutabagas (use 1 for the best presentation if you're lucky enough to have access to a giant, Nerf football-sized rutabaga)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. whole allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • water or vegetable broth to cover
  • 2 Tbsp. spicy brown mustard (Swedish if you can get it)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar


Peel the rutabagas, removing any bad spots. Stud rutabagas with at least six whole cloves each (more if using a single large rutabaga). Place in a medium saucepan and add just enough water or vegetable broth to cover. Stir in chopped onion, bay leaves, allspice, and salt. Bring pot to a fast boil, reduce to low heat, and simmer until rutabagas are fork-tender but still firm (1-2 hours, depending upon size).

Preheat oven to 425. Remove rutabagas from pot and rinse with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Mix together mustard and egg and, using a pastry brush, paint entire surface of each rutabaga with mixture. Combine breadcrumbs and brown sugar in a shallow dish; roll rutabagas in crumbs until well covered. Add additional cloves if desired.

Place rutabagas in oven-safe pan; roast until golden brown (10 to 15 minutes).

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