In Finnish cuisine, there are many variations of casserole dishes, or what is called laatikko: carrot, potato, sweet potato, beetroot, or swede/lanttu, mostly served during Christmas time.
In this article, we will introduce you another laatikko/casserole-dish: lanttulaatikko, one of the most loved traditional Christmas dishes from Finland. Made from mashed swede/rutabaga, it is slightly sweet and spiced with ginger, nutmeg, white pepper, and cinnamon, and usually served with other casseroles at the Christmas table as a side dish.
3-4 Swede medium size (about 1kg)
1 dl cream of your choice, regular or plant-based
½ dl syrup of your choice, light or dark
½ tsp ginger powder
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
½ tsp cinnamon powder
½ tsp salt
Pinch of white pepper (optional)
½ dl breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Wash and peel the swedes; dice them into small cubes.
Transfer the diced swedes into a pot, add water to cover them all and cook until soft.
Drain the water, and mash the cooked swede well, until smooth with no lumps.
Add the spices, salt, syrup, and the cream. Mix well, taste, and adjust the salt and pepper.
Transfer the mixture to an oven dish, and smoothen the surface with the back of a spoon.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the dish, and make a pattern by using a spoon (optional).
Bake for about one hour, until the surface is slightly brown.
Let it cool slightly, serve warm as a side dish on your holiday table.
There is a large variety of breadcrumbs in the shops; choose your favorite, or use almond/hazelnut powder for a more nutty holiday treat.
As for creams also, there are many choices available in the shops, coconut cream is often people’s favorite which gives a nice aromatic result.
This is supposed to be a sweet and spicy dish. However, if you don’t like very much sweet foods, use less syrup, taste and adjust the sweetness before putting the dish into the oven.
You might be interested in other Finnish traditional laatikko/casserole dishes such as Kaalilaatikko/Finnish Cabbage Casserole.