Finnish Turnip Casserole (Lanttulaatikko) for Thanksgiving?

It’s been a while since I cooked and posted. However, I have not abandoned this project! With Thanksgiving coming around the corner, I suspect that no experimental Finnish recipes will be made in my kitchen this week. But never fear – my cousin married a man of Finnish descent and he usually makes Finnish turnip casserole for our family Thanksgiving dinner.

I did a bit of research about yellow turnips, which are also called rutabagas. It turns out that the yellow turnip is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. The word “rutabaga” is derived from a Swedish word “rotabagge” which means “root ram”. This is probably why yellow turnips are also called “Swedes” in places like the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. Today, however, turnips are called “kålrot” in Sweden today. While some think that rutabagas are native to Sweden, others believe that they were introduced to Sweden from Finland or Siberia.

Here is John’s recipe — it is similar to the “Rutabaga Casserole” or Lanttulaatikko recipe from Beatrice Ojakangas’ The Finnish Cookbook. Beatrice indicates that this is an old, traditional dish that was commonly served with Christmas dinner.

Finnish Turnip Casserole (Lanttulaatikko) courtesy of John Ahonen

Cube and boil a medium sized yellow turnip until soft. After cooking, mash the turnip.
Add 2 tbsp. of butter
Add 2 tbsp. of milk
Salt, pepper
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 beaten egg
2 tbsp. of bread crumbs
2 tbsp. of molasses

Mix all together and put in a casserole.
Bake at 350 for 1/2 hr.