Thanksgiving and Idaho Potatoes- Potato Rutabaga Cakes

Thanksgiving is usually a day for large gatherings and big jam-packed buffet tables. It’s a wonderful way to gather together. All those folks and all that food ensures that there will be plenty of good eatin’. Including these Potato Rutabaga Cakes.

But this year I’m toying with the idea of a much more intimate affair. Something a bit elegant– served in courses. It will start with an aperitif. There will be a first course followed by a soup. The meal will end with a salad. Sure there will be turkey and many of the usual suspects. Including potatoes. This time Klondike Goldust potatoes from Idaho Potatoes, grated thinly, paired with rutabaga, topped with rosemary-infused sweet red onion and inverted on the plate as an exquisite little potato cake. But I’m thinking the potatoes will be a first course– served individually. Because potatoes this special deserve a plate all their own.

Sure, it’s an elegant presentation. But I’ve decided to give it the cheeky name of Neeps and Tattie Cakes.

Neeps and tatties. That’s fun to say, don’t ya think? But what the heck are they? It seems Neeps and Tatties are a traditional Scottish favorite, though my version is hardly traditional. I am sure you can guess that the Tatties are taters. Actually potaters (from Idaho). But Neeps may be new to you. If so I hope the name makes you smile as much as it does me. Especially when said in conjunction with Tatties! Neeps and Tatties. I dare not say where my mind goes when I hear that phrase. But where my mind should be going is to the Scottish turnip, or what we would call a rutabaga. It’s a simple as that.

The Table Set Thanksgiving podcast episodeMy point is this. We all love Thanksgiving. But why not shake up expectations a bit? Well, this week on The Table Set podcast. That’s exactly what we do when we sit down and discuss Thanksgiving. Listen in as we try not talking turkey.

It’s not that we discourage turkey. Not at all. But come on, you can make a turkey without us. The basic turkey know-how (buying, defrosting, brining) is well-documented all over the web, just copy and paste. But the side dishes, that’s a whole other story. Everyone has their favorites of course. Glazed carrots, some sort of stuffing, oh and that unspeakable green bean casserole. So if it’s just not Thanksgiving without some of these staples by all means include them. But if you’re still struggling with your menu, we promise to discuss a few ways of turning some of those Thanksgiving traditions upside-down. Starting with the potato. GREG

Onion-Topped Potato & Rutabaga Cakes (Neeps and Tattie Cakes) serves 12 CLICK here for a printable recipe


  • 4 T unsalted butter, softened, plus more for tin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper as needed
  • 2 T packed brown sugar
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 12 sprig tips for tin
  • 2 small red onions, peeled & cut into 12 1/4‑in thick rounds
  • 1 lb klondike goldust idaho potatoes, coarsely grated
  • 1 lb rutabaga, coarsely grated
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Generously butter each cup of a standard 12 compartment muffin tin. Sprinkle each cup with pinch of salt, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar; drizzle each cup with 1/2 teaspoon of each kind of vinegar. Place a rosemary sprig tip decoratively in the center of each cup. lay an an onion round flatly on top; set aside.

Toss potatoes and rutabagas with chopped rosemary and egg yolks in a medium bowl; season with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 2 teaspoons salt. Divide mixture among cups; dot each with some butter.

Bake until potatoes are tender and well browned, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of each cup to loosen; invert, and serve warm.