(Finnish mashed rutabaga casserole)
This hearty Finnish side dish is similar to mashed potatoes, but with the special, earthy flavor of rutabagas (lanttu), also known as yellow turnips or swedes. Lanttulaatikko is a favorite Christmas dish on Finnish holiday tables.
4 to 6 servings
- Rutabagas (yellow turnips, or swedes) -- 2 or 3, or about 1 1/2 pounds
- Breadcrumbs -- 1/2 cup
- Heavy cream or half-and-half -- 1/2 cup
- Eggs, beaten -- 2
- Dark corn syrup or molasses -- 3 tablespoons
- Ground ginger -- 1 teaspoon
- Salt and white pepper -- to season
- Butter, cut into small cubes -- 3 tablespoons
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel the rutabagas, then cut them into large chunks. Place the rutabagas in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and boil until cooked through and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to steam dry.
- Add the breadcrumbs, heavy cream, eggs, syrup or molasses, ginger, salt and white pepper to a large bowl and whisk together. Use a ricer or potato masher to mash the rutabagas until they are smooth. Stir the breadcrumb and cream mixture into the mashed rutabagas. Adjust seasoning with salt and white pepper.
- Transfer the mashed rutabagas to a buttered casserole dish and make a decorative pattern on the top using a fork or spoon. Dot the top of the rutabagas with the butter and place in the oven.
- Bake the lanttulaatikko for about 45 minutes, or until cooked through and browned on the top. Serve hot with roast or braised meats.
- Reserve some of the breadcrumbs to sprinkle over the top of the lanttulaatikko before dotting it with the butter and baking.
- Other spices besides ginger are often added, including cinnamon and nutmeg.