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Mashed Turnips or Rutabaga

Because the growing season is short in Estonia, few vegetables are available year-round, making root vegetables, which can be kept for a whole season without refrigeration, an essential part of the national cuisine. This recipe for soft mashed turnips or rutabagas is an excellent side for cold weather meals, and in Estonia, it is commonly seen at winter holiday tables. Rutabaga pairs particularly well with lamb dishes. Recipe Servings: Serves 6
Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Total Time
40 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 2 lbs (1 kg) turnips or rutabagas, peeled and diced into 1 in (2.5 cm) cubes
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) prepared farina, made with whole milk
  • 4 Tbsp (60 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 g) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground nutmeg


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups (480 ml) of water to a boil and cook the vegetables for 25 minutes, or until they have become very soft. Drain, place in a bowl, and mash well. Whip the hot farina into the mashed vegetables and whisk in the butter, salt, sugar, and nutmeg.


The color of this dish will vary depending on the vegetables used – turnips are white, sometimes purplish in color, while mashed rutabagas have a vibrant yellow-orange color.