Potato, Parsnip, Rutabaga Casserole with Caramelized Onions

This mashed medley of fall vegetables is a flavorful change from “plain” mashed potatoes.

INGREDIENTS:

3 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/4 pounds parsnips, peeled and cubed
1 1/2 pounds rutabagas, peeled and
cubed
7 cups chicken stock
8 whole cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup butter, softened (divided)
3 large onions, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

METHOD:

Place potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, garlic, bay leaf and thyme in a large stockpot. Add chicken stock to vegetables in stockpot. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cover partially. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Discard bay leaf. (Reserve stock for soup or gravy, if desired.)

Transfer drained vegetables to large mixing bowl of mixer. Add 1/2 cup butter. Using flat paddle, beat mixture at low speed until vegetables are mashed but still a little chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer mashed vegetables to a buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.

Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions. Sauté onions until they begin to caramelize and become golden, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to sauté onions until they are a rich golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread caramelized onions evenly on top mashed vegetables. (If desired, casserole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Bake casserole uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until heated through and top begins to crisp.

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