Saturday, January 7, 2012

Root Vegetable Casserole

Root Vegetable Casserole
8 Servings
3 cups water
1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cubed
1 medium parsnip, peeled and cubed
4 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 Sprig Rosemary
1¼ teaspoon sea salt -  divided
1 teaspoon black pepper - divided
3 tablespoons olive oil - divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon of dried rosemary or thyme - optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Combine water, potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes, drain.
While vegetables are cooking, heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sliced onions and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Saute for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and continue sautéing until onions are tender and golden brown.
If vegetables are not done at this time, remove onions from the pan and let them drain on a paper towel until ready to use.
Once vegetables  are done, transfer them to a large bowl; remove bay leaf and thyme or rosemary sprigs.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste than mash with a potato masher.  It’s OK if chunks remain, it does not have to be creamy like mashed potatoes.
Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed.  
Transfer mashed vegetables to a lightly oiled baking dish.
Spread the onions evenly over mashed root vegetables, sprinkle lightly with salt, freshly ground pepper and a dried herb.
Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until top begins to crisp.

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