Gratin of rutabaga

This root vegetable, known globally, goes by different names. It’s called ‘rutabaga’ in North America and France, a name we prefer. In many Commonwealth Nations, however, it’s known as ‘swede’ or ‘Swedish turnip’. Rutabaga tastes like a crossing of a cabbage and a turnip. When cooked, the colour of rutabaga becomes vibrant gold and the texture resembles Yukon Gold potatoes, which are quite waxy.

Continuing our exploration of Alain Passard‘s vegetarian recipes, we have encountered this variation of gratin dauphinois. This iconic, French dish is usually made with potatoes, cream and cheese. Passard substitutes the potatoes with rutabaga for its fresher and brighter taste.

From Swedish dialect ‘rotabagge’ – rutabaga derives from rot ‘root’ + bagge ‘bag’. In the 40s, rutabaga meant ‘dollar’ in slang.

Gratin of rutabaga

Course: Starter, SideCuisine: French, ModernDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled

  • 200ml semi skimmed milk

  • 1tbsp salted butter

  • 1 garlic clove

  • 125ml double cream

  • 1 egg yolk

  • Parmesan

  • Lemon zest

  • Nutmeg

  • Salt


  • Preheat the oven to 210C grill with fan.
  • Cut the rutabaga into 1mm slices using a mandolin.
  • Warm up the milk in a large shallow pot.
  • Add the butter and rutabaga into the pot.
  • Simmer the vegetable until it becomes soft for about 4 to 5 min.
  • Take it off the hob and let it cool down a bit.
  • Meanwhile, whip the cream just until soft peaks.
  • Combine with the egg yolk and season with the salt and grated nutmeg.
  • Take a large serving plate. Rub a half of a clove of garlic on your serving plate.
  • Arrange the rutabaga into a rosette on the plate.
  • Reduce the remaining milk in the pot until a thick sauce is formed.
  • Stir the milk from time to time, to avoid sticking it to the bottom of the pot.
  • Drizzle the milky sauce on the top of rutabaga.
  • Carefully spread the eggy cream onto the rutabaga and grate just a thin layer of the parmesan.
  • Place the dish in the oven and bake until just golden brown. It should take about 1min.
  • Take it off the oven and grate some lemon zest on the top. Serve immediately.

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