Root Vegetable Main Dish

By Brandon Massey/ Co-op Deli Cook & Cheesemonger

Preheat oven to 425 F

3/4 lb. celeriac, sliced 1/4 inch thick
3/4 lb. rutabaga, same
1/2 lb. turnip, same
1/2 lb. carrot, same
3 – 4 medium onions, sliced thin
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch green kale, in small pieces
1/2-3/4 lb. sort of creamy, slightly sweet cheese like havarti, gouda, fontina, or jack, grated coarsely
1/4 cup water or dry white wine or dry cider
one whole nutmeg with grater
black pepper
4 medium to large potatoes, mashed*

Butter one large, covered ceramic baking dish/casserole. Slice all root veggies as directed in ingredient list. Cover bottom of dish with one layer of onion slices. Sprinkle garlic evenly. Begin to “build” the levels of vegetables: rutabaga, carrot, turnip, celeriac, then cheese. Grate a very small bit of nutmeg over the cheese, then a pinch of thyme, then a couple grinds of black pepper, then a pinch of salt. Top with kale and press down. Continue building each layer this way, pressing down at the end of each layer, to just below the top of the dish. Add 1/4 cup liquid, cover, and bake at 425 F for 50 min.

While the veggies bake, prepare the spuds. *Steam, peel, mash with butter, cream, and butter milk or milk. Also add 1/2 tsp salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and few grates of nutmeg (no thyme this time). You can also mix the spuds with mashed celeriac or mashed parsnip–both of which add a wicked good flavor–in a proportion of two parts spuds to one part celeriac or parsnip. After 50 minutes, the vegetables will have cooked down into the dish considerably. This is why a vigorous pressing down of each layer as you build can pay off. Fill up the top with your mashed spuds. You can add some butter pats here and there, too. Cover the dish. Put back into the oven for 10-15 min, long enough to get the spuds hot. That’s it. I hope you and your family enjoy it!

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