Rutabaga, Sweet Potato, and Orange Casserole

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    6

    servings

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Thought to be a cross between a cabbage and a globe turnip, the smooth, heavy, pale yellow rutabaga has been a popular root vegetable in the South since it migrated from Europe with the early settlers in the seventeenth century. Small, relatively tender, and slightly sweet rutabagas can be boiled and mashed or simply cut into strips and blanched for salads, but since the more common large ones tend to be pithy and bitter, most Southern cooks prefer to bake them slowly with sweet potatoes, carrots, Vidalia onions, oranges, and other sweet ingredients in a casserole. Rutabagas are available year round, but winter is the peak season. They can be the dickens to peel, but are well worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds rutabagas (yellow turnips), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 orange, peeled, white pith removed, seeded, and cut up
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole or baking dish and set aside.

Place the rutabagas in a large pot and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to moderate, cover, and cook 15 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, return the heat to moderate, and cook 15 minutes longer or till the vegetables are tender.

Transfer the cooked vegetables to a food processor, add the orange, 2 tablespoons of the butter, the cream, nutmeg, and salt and pepper, and reduce to a coarse purée. Scrape the mixture into the prepared casserole, dot the top with the remaining butter, and bake 20 to 25 minutes. When ready to serve, run the casserole under the broiler momentarily to glaze the top.