Rutabagas are the large yellow-fleshed root vegetables that are usually waxed, and are oftentimes called yellow turnips. Actually, turnips are small and white-fleshed, and they have purple tops. I prefer rutabagas for their stronger, spicier flavor. Here is my favorite way of preparing them, which makes the most luscious side vegetable dish I know of. They are grated and sauted, then baked with heavy cream and topped with a crisp crust.

SERVES 4

1 medium rutabaga (about 2 pounds)

1 large carrot

3 tablespoons butter

Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup heavy cream

Вј cup Bread Crumbs

  1. Peel the rutabaga with a vegetable peeler or a paring knife and cut it into chunks for grating by hand or shredding in a food processor. You should have 7 to 8 cups grated. Peel and grate the carrot.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the rutabaga and carrot and saut for exactly 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Do not brown.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375В°F. Scrape the mixture into a lightly buttered medium shallow baking dish and season with the salt and pepper. May be prepared to this point up to 24 hours in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before proceeding with the next step.
  4. Pour on the heavy cream, coating as much of the mixture as possible. Sprinkle on the bread crumbs and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cream is thickened and mostly, not completely, absorbed. Serve immediately.