Recipe of the Week | Back To Our Root Vegetables

Root Vegetables | Photo Credit Randolph Graham


Parsnips, rutabagas and the like are common fare in Norway. Although it may be a clumsy play on words, I call this the “back to our roots” recipe. Here’s why.


My grandfather’s “grandfather,” Amund Eidsmoe, came to America in 1852 from Norway settling in southeastern South Dakota. It was there that my grandfather (Gramps) was born and later met and married my grandmother (Gran). Living in a home that had a root cellar with carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, and potatoes was not uncommon in those days. Root cellars often made it possible to eat well during the harsh winter months. When Gran and Gramps moved to California during the Great Depression, Gran continued to cook from recipes that were passed down to her by my grandfather’s side of the family. In addition to making a wonderful carrot casserole for us each fall, Gran would make this inexpensive vegetable bake at the first hint of cold weather.     



1 pound organic carrots (scrubbed and cut into ½ inch lengths)

1 pound new potatoes (quartered – scrub but no need to peel)

1 pound organic parsnips (peeled and cut into ½ inch lengths)

1 pound organic rutabaga (peeled and diced cut into ½ inch cubes)

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 1/3 cups cream (milk or half and half will not do!)

1 1/3 cups Fontina cheese

1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon breadcrumbs



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place prepared root vegetables in a large baking dish (we use a tall Corning Ware 2.8 liter dish). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast vegetables uncovered for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Transfer roasted vegetables to a large mixing bowl. Stir in cream, Fontina, and ½ of the parsley. Transfer vegetable mixture back to the baking dish. Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs and balance of the parsley. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot.

Randolph Graham, a recent cooking class checking the soups

Chef Randy’s latest book: Ojai Valley Make Ahead Cookbook on Sale at AMAZON

For additional recipes, see Chef Randy’s website at

Chef Randy has been a vegetarian for over 40 years and eats local and organic grain, fresh fruit, and vegetables as much as possible. He is known locally as the “Healthy Chef.” His column, Chef Randy, is syndicated in California newspapers. See his website at for more recipes.

Visit his author’s page on Amazon for culinary inspiration!  


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