Get Fresh & Fruity Swede

Get Fresh & Fruity Swede

Class 1 - Great Britain

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Pronounce it: sw-ee-d

A member of the cabbage family, the swede is often confused with the turnip, though they look quite different. It's also known as yellow turnip, Swedish turnip and Russian turnip and, in America, rutabaga.

In Scotland, where it is known as neeps, swede is the traditional accompaniment to haggis on Burns night. Swede has a round shape and a purple-green skin, and the flesh is yellowy-orange, with a sweet, earthy flavour. It disintegrates fairly easily if overcooked, so always keep to cooking times.


British season runs from mid October to late February.

Choose the best

Look for swedes with smooth, unblemished skins; smaller swedes have a sweeter flavour and a more tender texture.

Prepare it

Cut off the root, then peel, and cut into chunks.

Store it

In a perforated or brown paper bag in the fridge - it will keep for about a week.

Cook it

Cut into chunks and boil (12-15 minutes), roast (40-55 minutes) or steam (10-15 minutes).

With its creamy-purple skin and rounded shape swede is a popular root vegetable. It has an attractive pale orange-yellow coloured flesh with a bittersweet, mustardy flavour.

Swede recipes

Cream roasted swede soup

Cream roasted swede soup

By Antony Worrall Thompson

Also known as rutabaga, or‚neeps in Scotland, swede is a root vegetable similar to the turnip, although it is less watery in texture. Purplish on the outside, it has sweet-tasting yellow or white flesh and can be cooked in much the same way as other root vegetables such as potatoes. It can also be eaten raw in salads.

Recipes using swede

Main course

Light meals and snacks

Side dishes

Cakes and baking

See all recipes using swede

Buyer's guide

Swedes are in season from mid-October to February. Larger swedes tend to be more strongly flavoured than smaller examples, and are often mashed rather than served whole. Look for a vegetable that feels heavy for its size, with an unblemished skin (although the ridges around the top are quite normal).


Swede will keep well in the fridge for a week or so. It can also be pickled, or chopped, blanched and frozen.

Swede Article by Felicity Cloake

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Get Fresh & Fruity Swede