These bulbs are no more homely in appearance than an average potato, but their orbed shapes and peculiar names continuously face turned-up noses. Root vegetable lovers are missing out on the duality of their sweetness and intensity in writing them off without a fair trial. Here the richness of the cream and cheese mellow the pungent edge of the turnips and rutabagas as everything bakes into a sturdy, sliceable round that is particularly perfect with roasts.


  • 2 pounds small to medium turnips and rutabagas combined
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (4 or 5 leaves)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (about 1 sprig)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (about 35 grinds)
  • 1 1/2 cups plus Vz cup grated Gruyere cheese (about 6 ounces)


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9-inch pie plate with 2-inch-high sides.

Peel the turnips and rutabaga and then slice both Vs inch thick. This is the perfect job for a mandoline if you don't trust your own hand and knife skills.

Measure the half-and-half in a spouted measuring cup and then whisk in the horseradish, garlic, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Build the gratin. Arrange a spiral of alternating slices of turnip and rutabaga in the pie plate in one layer. Whisk the half-and-half to distribute the herbs, spices, and seasonings and then pour or spoon about 1/4 cup over the layer. Sprinkle on about 1/3 cup of the 1 1/2 cups cheese.

Repeat the layering process until you've used all of the turnip and rutabaga. Be sure to whisk the half-and-half each time or the flavoring ingredients will settle to the bottom.

Pour the last of the half-and-half over the assembled gratin and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese across the top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and set the pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 45 minutes more, until the cheese becomes a light brown crust over the top and the turnips and rutabaga are tender when poked with a fork. Let the gratin rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Serves 6 to 8

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Submitted 12/10/13.
Source: Choosing Sides by Tara Mataraza Desmond
Submitted By: b smith

Turnip and Rutabaga Gratin