Turnip Chevre Gratin with Peas



Once again it’s the time of year when we pack up the trusty (and a little rusty) 4Runner with food and gear and turn her nose northward.  For months we’ve been reading the tales of snow in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and have tried to let go of the jealousy.  Last Wednesday was the first time this season that we’ve strapped on skis so this week has been a bit rough.

Fortunately we’re tucked away in a cozy rustic cabin at ABR for a few days and can sauna every night to soothe our aching muscles.

Here are the posted Sauna Rules and a little Finnish tale.










Skiing all day in the north woods makes this hot-dish (as they say in Minnesota) sound particularly good.  There must be something about being in frigid temperatures that makes the root vegetables like turnips and rutabagas seem particularly appetizing.  I’m sure someone could explain this…how climate affects my cravings.  Up here I want fats, bitters, meats, mustard and horseradish.  And usually sometime in the third week we begin to crave pickles.  Real pickles.  Good think we’re in Wisconsin most of the trip.




This is yet another dish from the Faroe Island dinner—I didn’t know what I was going to make for a side vegetable but I knew it had to be northerly.  Turnips have a nice little bite to them that might go well with the cold-smoked lamb that shared the plate.  Gratin seemed good for a cool September evening outside, not to mention it can be prepped ahead and will hold patiently for hours while we assembled the crazier parts of the dinner.  Peas are somewhat northerly and would provide a bit of sweetness to counter the turnip and chevre.  And leeks…they simply make everything better, that was easy.  Goat cheese and goat kefir—goats fare well in the northern countries, and that seemed a logical addition.  Plus we can get incredible goat kefir at our local coop!

So there you have it, the conception of a dish.


Turnip Chevre Gratin with Peas

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes


Peel and slice:

3 or 4 Turnips

Bring a pot of water to a boil. 

Blanch the turnips briefly by immersing them in the boiling water, then pouring them out or removing them after 2 – 3 minutes. 


Whisk together in a bowl:

1/4 cup Chevre Goat Cheese (2 ounces)

1/4 cup Cream

2 Tablespoons Plain Yogurt or Kefir, or Goat Kefir if you can get it

2 Tablespoons Water

1/2 teaspoon Mustard

Salt and Pepper

Add and toss until coated:

2 cups blanched Turnip slices

2/3 cup Leeks, sliced

1/2 cup Peas

Taste and adjust salt, pepper, and mustard. 

Transfer to a baking dish and add:

2 Tablespoons Butter, sliced on top

Bake for 30-40 minutes. 

Sprinkle with: 

Parsley and Green Onions, chopped



The perfect picture in the sauna.











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