My final festive Scandinavian dish for this year is lanttulaatikko.  This Finnish recipe takes the humble turnip (what you folks might call swede or rutabaga) and turns it into a rich, creamy, bubbling baked dish of yumminess.

As with most Christmas vegetable dishes, lanttulaatikko could never claim to be in anyway healthy but I quite like the idea that vegetables go a bit wild at this time of the year and naughtily dress themselves up in honey and butter and cream.   

In fact, I’ve spoke to some turnips and it seems that for eleven months of the year they feel they are thought of as nutritious but dull – nothing to get excited about.  They understand this and respect their position in the vegetable world but come December, these grubby roots want to let themselves go and be transformed into wickedly silky, sexy side-dishes that have diners groaning for more.  

And if that comes at a calorific cost, well, both the turnips and I are absolutely fine with that.  This month, anyway.


(serves 4 as a side-dish)

1 large Scottish turnip (i.e. rutabaga or swede – the yellow fleshed one)

150ml cream (single, double or crème fraîche)

1 egg

1/2 tspn nutmeg


2 tblspns soft butter (plus a little extra)

1 tblspn honey

  • Peel the turnip and cut into 2cm wide chunks.  Just cover in salted water and boil until completely tender.  Drain.
  • Mash the turnip well and push through a potato ricer or a sieve. 
  • Combine the cream, butter, honey, nutmeg and egg.  Add to the turnip and mix well.  Season to taste.
  • Add turnip mixture to a small casserole dish, level off with a fork and dot with butter.
  • Bake in a 180oC pre-heated oven for 40 minutes until golden and crisp on top.

20 thoughts on “Lanttulaatikko

  1. We’ve had a lot of swede in our veg box lately, and we’re all getting fed up with it. Now I’m rather keen to get another one 😉 I’ve heard of this dish, but never tried it

    Thanks for sharing

  2. Love it when clever veggies speak up.

    These ones (why do we call them swedes?) in particular are very sneaky beasties. Pretending to be dull…as you say, give ’em a little fun stuff to dress up in and Hello…

  3. turnips do get bad press don’t they? I never appreciated them til I lived in Scotland – maybe due to them being in their element there! Now I am a bit fan and happy to see them getting their moment in the spotlight!

  4. Oh, this does look wickedly delicious. How scrumptious.
    And I love the snow you have falling on the pages of your blog – very Christmassy! (…and very clever too)

  5. Cynthia – Glad you like it. 🙂

    Joanna – I have to say, I don’t usually get excited about it but I do love this.

    Lucy – My thoughts exactly.

    Johanna – Haggis just isn’t the same without it!

    Holler – You mean you didn’t before? Shame on you! 😉

    Antonia – The snow is a WordPress thing. I love it!

  6. Honey?? Original recipe calls for dark syrup – as that is not available here I use black treacle (a bit darker and stronger but does result in the right taste, if you don’t overdo it…) Also instead of nutmeg, I would use dried ginger – just a pinch, again it can be overdone.

    Everyone I have ever fed this has taken seconds 🙂

  7. Bookmarked. I was going to prepare parsnip mash for Xmas, but now I’m going to try this instead. Parsnips are so like swedes, I don’t think anyone will be the wiser. Thanks for posting this great recipe. I’m quite smitten with that colorful sphere in the first photo.

  8. This is what we in the states call Rutebega Mash (although no one there would eat it without a generous helping of cream and maybe some sharp cheddar) AND it’s the traditional Christmas and New Years accompaniment to sheep’s ribs here in Norway, where they call it “Kålrabistappe”- sooo good! Officially the most underrated vegetable in my book. I’m so glad to see someone post about this!

  9. Oh, I mean it was the rutabaga dish that brought me to your site. I made a shep. pie with the cut up rutabagas in the meat with some other veg’s . Know what I heard? There is some connection with Joseph’s coat of many colors with the Scottish thing the man wears. Someone mentioned it to me this winter. Could it be the same thing?

    Now I want to look up Scotland online and see what it’s like. Bye now, Elizabeth

  10. Was curious to see how others made this dish, which is how I found my way here. This has been a family tradition at Christmas my entire life, thanks to my English-Canadian grandmother learning to make her Finnish-born husband’s favourite dish! We don’t use the nutmeg, and use just plain white sugar rather than honey … and we always put buttered breadcrumbs on top! Which is probably all that got me to eat it when I was REALLY young 🙂 My version is available at BigOven (

  11. Pingback: Rutabaga: With A Name Like That, It Has to Be Good | - Organic Living

  12. Pingback: Talking Finnish food with the chefs at Helsinki's Konstan Molja

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