Parsnips, rutabagas and the like are common fare in Norway. Although it may be a clumsy play on words, I call this the “back to our roots” recipe. Here’s why.
My grandfather’s “grandfather”, Amund Eidsmoe, came to America in 1852 from Norway settling in southeastern South Dakota. It was there that my grandfather (Gramps) was born and later met and married my grandmother (Gran). Living in a home that had a root cellar with carrots, parsnips, rutabagas and potatoes was not uncommon in those days. In fact, root cellars often made it possible to eat well during the harsh winter months. When Gran and Gramps moved to California during the Great Depression, Gran continued to cook from recipes that were passed down to her by my grandfather’s side of the family. In addition to making a wonderful carrot casserole for us each fall, Gran would make this inexpensive vegetable bake at the first hint of cool weather.
1 pound carrots (scrubbed and cut into ½ inch lengths)
1 pound new potatoes (quartered – scrub but no need to peel)
1 pound parsnips (peeled and cut into ½ inch lengths)
1 pound rutabaga (peeled and diced cut into ½ inch cubes)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 1/3 cups cream (milk or half and half will not do!)
1 1/3 cups Fontina cheese
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place prepared root vegetables in a large baking dish (we use a tall Corning Ware 2.8 liter dish). Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast vegetables uncovered for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Transfer roasted vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Stir in cream, Fontina and ½ of the parsley. Transfer vegetable mixture back to baking dish. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and balance of the parsley. Bake for another 10 – 15 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot.