What, you're worried that a veggie evangelist bears a grudge against Scandinavians? Not me! It's just a little Leap Year fun, something allowed once every four years on the 29th day of February -- but of course, this really is for scalloped swedes & finns because ugly rutabagas have a pretty second name 'swedes' plus the potatoes were of the yellow Finn variety. Besides, a dish this simple, this reliably delicious, this variable -- well, it deserves a clever name, yes? to receive its just due. Happy February 29th, all! May your day stand out!
CONCEPT RECIPE It's easy to 'scallop' root vegetables. Grease the baking dish, then wet the bottom with cream or half & half. Add a layer of thin-slice root vegetables (a Japanese mandoline / benriner helps), another small splash of cream, salt & pepper, a tiny sprinkling of cheese. Repeat as tall as you like, then bake for an hour (or more if thicker than an inch, say). That's all there is to it! You could layer in fresh herbs, sauté some onions to put between but all that's gilding the lily. (Beets and potatoes are especially good scalloped, I call them "Those Pink Potatoes".)
DISH SIZE It seems that as kitchens have super-sized, so too have dishes. Plates and serving pieces all seem suitable for a large family with hungry farm workers at the table - with leftovers. In contrast, the small gratin dish pictured holds a scant two cups, just enough for four small-ish side-dish servings, or two small-ish main dish servings. Especially with a rich dish like scalloped potatoes, I'm (mostly) glad when there are no leftovers.
THE YEAR OF THE POTATO Did you know that the UN has declared 2008 the Year of the Potato? So food bloggers everywhere are celebrating all things potato. This is my contribution to the potato feast at Culinary Bazaar.
MORE LEAP YEAR FUN
(Note: I'm using a piece of experimental code here and while it's been tested in other circumstances, I'm not entirely sure how it will work out here. What you should see is a growing list of posts also featuring Leap Year shenanigans. I suspect the list won't appear on e-mail or RSS subscriptions. If that's the case, please bear with me and if you like, click through to Scalloped Swedes & Finns to see my list of fun Leap Year posts from the food world. The code has great potential for many, many uses so I'd like to see how it works in a live environment.)
PIE LOVERS KitchenParade.com is hosting a special event for Pi Day on March 14th. (Get it?) Yes, we're baking pies for Pi Day, focusing our entries on the fine art of homemade pie crusts and collecting all our best pie recipes and our tips for making great pie crust.
~ more potato recipes ~
~ more rutabaga recipes ~
~ more casserole recipes, what some of us call "hot dishes" ~
~ one year ago this week, Slow-Cooker Onion Soup ~
SCALLOPED SWEDES & FINNS
Time to table: 75 minutes
1 medium potato, about 8 ounces, washed but skin left on (or peeled if you prefer), sliced thin
8 ounces rutabaga, skin sliced off, sliced thin
Cream - it takes less than you think, maybe 1/4 cup at most
Salt & pepper
Cheese (I used 1/4 pound fresh mozzarella plus a little grated Parmesan on top for browning)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grease a casserole dish. Wet the bottom with cream. Arrange a layer of potato or rutabaga, season with salt & paper, wet with cream, sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 60 minutes or until cooked clear through.
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Eat more vegetables! A Veggie Venture is the home of Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and is the award-winning source of free vegetable recipes, quick, easy, and yes, delicious. Start with the Alphabet of Vegetables or dive into all the Weight Watchers vegetable recipes or all the low carb vegetable recipes. © Copyright 2008