As this year with friends we decided to go for a Scandinavian inspired food, I was thinking of some vegetarian side dish. The best I found out was the Finnish rutabaga gratin. Apparently rutabaga is another name for swede, so commonly available in the UK and I so much having not even a clue what to do with it besides obviously boil it.
I actually tried it over a year ago when I was introducing solids to my toddler. It was OK to taste but nothing special and it never occur to me I could make something really delicious with it.
So my interpretation of the rutabaga gratin (which proved to be a traditional dish on the Scandinavian Christmas table too) includes also sweet potato and lemon-thyme infused double cream. The only other condiment I used was cracked black peppercorns.
The dish doesn't really need salt because it tastes quite sweet.
As swede is much more hard than sweet potatoes, I needed to parboil it for 15 minutes before assembling the gratin.
I later did another version of it, but as I ran out of swede, I used potatoes and sweet potatoes with double cream and Danish blue cheese. Oh, it was delicious!
But now let's go back to the recipe for this simple yet flavoursome dish!
1 medium sized swede (rutabaga/Swedish turnip) (around 1 kg)
3 large sweet potatoes
4-5 fresh sprigs lemon thyme
400 ml double cream
100 gr hard cheese (I used cheddar)
cracked black peppercorns
Heat the double cream in a pan and add the lemon thyme leaves.
Soak for 20-30 minutes.
Peel and cut the swede in preferred shapes and boil them lightly in water (optionally salted) for 15 minutes.
In the meantime peel the sweet potatoes and cut them too.
Drain the swede and mix with the sweet potatoes well.
In a deep baking dish cover the bottom with a little bit of the cream do not remove the leaves. Line with 1/3 of the vegetables. Sprinkle black pepper and grated cheese and cover with double cream. Proceed until everything ends with some cheese and cream on top.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 40-50 minutes.
Let to stand for 2-3 hours or more before serving.