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2000s Recipes + Menus

Mashed Turnips and Potatoes with Horseradish Bread Crumbs

  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:45 min
April 2007
Reminiscing about the sweet and slightly spicy turnips that she would dig up and eat on her grandfather’s farm years ago, senior food editor Alexis Touchet was determined to bring out the best of the root in this creamy side dish. The heat of horseradish plays up the turnips’ and potatoes’ earthy qualities, and a topping of toasted bread crumbs lends a delightful crunch.
  • 2 lb yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
  • 1 1/4 lb turnips
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread)
  • 2 tablespoons drained bottled horseradish, patted very dry between paper towels
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
  • Peel potatoes and turnips, then cut into 2-inch pieces. Cover potatoes, turnips, and 2 teaspoons salt by 2 inches cold water in a 6-quart pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • While vegetables cook, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron), then toast bread crumbs with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add horseradish and toss until combined well, then transfer to a small bowl.
  • Drain vegetables in a colander, then return to pot and mash. Stir in milk, remaining 4 tablespoons butter, and scallion greens over low heat until combined well and heated through. Season with salt and pepper, then serve topped with bread crumbs.
Cooks’ notes:
  • Bread crumbs, without horseradish, can be made 1 day ahead and cooled, then kept in a sealed plastic bag. Reheat in a skillet, then toss with horseradish.
  • Mashed potatoes and turnips, without scallions and bread crumbs, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, uncovered, until completely cooled, then covered. Reheat in a large metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally.