Rutabagas are harvested in autumn and then dipped in wax to preserve them over the winter. Wax-coated rutabagas should always be peeled before cooking.
Scrub rutabagas just before using, and peel if the skin is thick or wax coated. They can be steamed, boiled and mashed, sautéed, baked, or roasted, and lend themselves especially well as an addition to soups, and to dishes that include a bit of sweetness, such as honey or dried fruit. Boil cubed rutabagas until tender, then toss with raisins, chopped walnuts, and a little honey. They are especially good when mashed with an equal amount of potatoes.