Monday, November 12, 2007

Dinner with the Moles

One of Son's favorites is Brian Jacques' Redwall series of books--about medieval rodents.

One of the dishes the characters feast upon--and an especial favorite of the mole population--is Turnip n' Tater n' Beetroot Pie.

We made our version for dinner.

First, boil up a mess of cut-up boiling potatoes and turnips (or rutabagas). When they are tender, mash them roughly. You can add butter or olive oil, milk or yogurt or cream, vegetable or chicken broth, or whatever you like in your mashed potatoes. Season to taste.

In a separate pot, boil beets whole. (You can roast the whole beets instead but you'll wind up with a much sweeter pie.) After the become tender, drain them. When they have cooled slightly, slip off their skins and cut into thin slices.

Saute some onions until they are golden. We took ours off the heat while they still had some texture and bite, but that is up to you.

In a deep casserole dish, put half the mashed vegetables, then a layer of the onions, then a layer of beet slices, then the other half of the mash. Top with cheddar cheese. Or some other cheese. Or not.

Stick the pie in a medium-hot oven (maybe about 375 degrees?) for as long as it takes for it to get hot throughout and bubbly on the top.

(Can you tell I am an instinctive cook? Can't I just say "cook until done"? But trust me: with this recipe, ingredient proportions don't matter and neither does cooking temperature or time.)

Serve with a good sprinkling of black pepper.


We served the casserole with roasted okra. Just toss them in a little oil or melted fat with some salt and pepper, then throw them in the oven while the tater pie cooks. One of my favorite vegetable dishes of all time. (And try Brussels Sprouts with the same treatment. Absolutely heavenly, even if you think you hate Brussels Sprouts.)

All of our ingredients were local--bought at the farmer's market or acquired from our local dairy farmer.


Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Mmmm... this sounds delicious!

Specs said...

I used to read those books voraciously! The descriptions of foods are just amazing. I'm pretty sure most of the dishes he describes don't actually exist, but it's so nice to see that this one does (now).

Anonymous said...


I may have to try that. And the roasted brussels sprouts.

Melinda said...

Wow - that sounds and looks fabulous. I wonder if we might be able to make it with turnips and beetroot, leaving out the potatoes (we didn't plant any this year - bummer)....


Related Posts with Thumbnails