A retired co-worker visited the other day and brought two huge feed sacks of his homegrown turnips. I happen to love them and put them into almost any soup or stew or pot roast. I have made turnip and potato mash but wanted to do something a little different. This is a casserole that pairs with just about anything. Use fresh greens though, because canned ones just won’t have the correct texture and flavor. At first this may seem like a not-so-friendly SHTF dish, but most everything in it can be grown in a home garden. Powdered dry milk can be used instead of fresh whole milk, and there are work arounds for the cheese, too.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 cups small dice sweet onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 2 teaspoons dry rubbed)
- 3 cups chopped fresh turnip greens
- 1½ pounds turnips, peeled and sliced in 1/8 inch thick rounds
- 1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/8 inch thick rounds
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 5 garlic cloves
- 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour or Wondra
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (or to taste) black pepper
- No-stick cooking spray (I use Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil; it has no propellants or soy in it.)
- 4 ozs (or more) shredded Gruyere cheese (or any king of creamy melting cheese you might have)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large skillet heat EVOO over medium high heat. Sauté onions, thyme, and sage. Cook about 5 minutes until onion is tender.
- Add greens and cook for another 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.
- Combine 1 cup turnip slices, 1 cup potato slices, water, milk, and garlic in sauce pot. Bring to boil and reduce to a simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and put the milk mixture in a blender. Blend until smooth. Be cautious mixture will be hot. Set aside.
- Coat a 2-quart baking dish with the no-stick spray. Arrange half the remaining potatoes and turnips in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with onion and greens mixture. Cover the greens with ½ of the cheese. Top that with the remaining potatoes and turnips. Pour blended milk mixture over that. Cover tightly with foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle the gratin with remaining cheese and put on top rack of oven. Bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.
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