Parsnip Recipes

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Parsnip & Mushroom Flan


Parsnips were one of the major starchy root vegetables of European cuisines prior to contact with the New World.  Many of those older recipes were then adapted to the potato, and now it is difficult to find recipes using these older crops.  The following is an exception.  It is inspired by one presented in Georgeanne Brennan’s 1995France:  The Vegetarian Table (ISBN 978-0811804745), which itself is her adaptation of a classic potato and ham flan. 

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, minced
1 cup crimini mushrooms, minced
½ cup chevré
1 cup goat milk
4 eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, minced
2 cups peeled parsnip, grated

Preheat oven to 375° F and grease a 10-inch heat proof casserole with a tablespoon of butter.

Melt remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat.  When it begins to foam, add in onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  Then add in the mushrooms and continue sautéing for another 5-10 minutes until the water released from the mushrooms has almost completely evaporated.  Remove from heat and cool.

Puree the chevré and goat milk to make a thick cream.  Pour into a large bowl, add in the eggs, and beat until well blended.  Add salt, pepper, onion-mushroom mixture and grated parsnips.  Mix well and pour into the prepared casserole. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top of the flan is puffed and golden-brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving. 


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Honeyed Parsnip Fries


This excellent way to use large parsnips is adapted from a recipe presented in the 2009 Illustrated Encyclopedia of British Cooking (ISBN 978-0754819127).  The fries are easy to make, and really addictive.  We plowed through the entire platter within minutes of taking the above picture. 

4 medium parsnips, each peeled and cut into 8 wedges
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons clear honey
freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Parboil the parsnip wedges in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain, shaking off any excess water.  Toss with the seasoned flour.

Pour oil into a large baking pan and spread evenly across the bottom.  Add the seasoned parsnip wedges and toss making sure that all sides are oiled.  Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the parsnip wedges are golden brown and cooked through, about 30 minutes. 

Remove pan from oven, drizzle the wedges with honey and dust with ground nutmeg.  Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the honey has liquefied and soaked into the wedges.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.



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Parsnip Apple Soup


We love parsnips, and this may be our favorite parsnip recipe of all time.  It is adapted from one presented in the 2009 Illustrated Encyclopedia of British Cooking(ISBN 978-0754819127).  Our major change was to use home-made Balti Masala paste, which is an excellent choice for this sweet-savory dish.  

2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1¼ pounds parsnips, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Balti Masala paste
1¼ cups apple juice
2½ cups stock
1¼ cups milk
salt and black pepper, to taste
yogurt and minced parsley for garnish

Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and parsnips and gently sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add in curry paste and mix for a minute. 

Add apple juice and stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the parsnips are soft.

Puree mixture until smooth, add milk, and season with salt and pepper.  Gently heat soup until warm.  Serve with a dollop of yogurt and the minced parsley.




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Root Vegetable Ragout


This excellent vegan winter root vegetable ragout is adapted from a recipe presented in Georgeanne Brennan’s 1995 France:  The Vegetarian Table (ISBN 978-0811804745).  While her original recipe was flavored to suggest a North African couscous, we have tried to pull it back into a more classic Provencal style through use of Herbs de Provence and dried tomatoes.  We are also quite fond of this recipe as it provides a glimpse of the type of vegetable cooking that was common in Europe prior to the advent of New World potatoes; in fact everything in this recipe – save for the dried tomatoes – would have been present in Provence back to at least the Middle Ages. 

12 shallots
2 pounds parsnips, washed and cut into 2” chunks
1 pound turnips, washed and quartered
1 pound rutabaga, washed and cut into eights
1 pound carrots, washed and cut into 2” lengths
¼ cup olive oil, in all
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups stock
1 cup water
4 bay leaves 
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, cut into ½” strips
1 pound chard leaves, washed, destemmed, and cut into 1/2” wide ribbons

Parboil shallots for 5 minutes in boiling water.  Drain and peel away the skin from the top downward.  Cut off the skin by cutting through the root plate at the bottom.  Be sure to leave some of this place as otherwise the shallots will fall apart upon cooking.  Heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy skillet and saute the peeled shallots over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes until their outsides have caramelized.  Remove from heat and set aside. 

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large, heat-proof casserole warm remaining olive oil over medium heat.  When hot add in the parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, and carrots and saute for until well coated in the oil and somewhat softened, about 10 minutes. 

Mix together the flour, salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provence and sprinkle over the vegetables.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the flour begins to stick and turn brown on the casserole bottom.  Add the wine and deglaze the casserole.  After a minute or two add in the stock, water, bay leaves, dry tomato strips, half of the chard, and reserved carmelized shallots.  Cover casserole and bake until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.  Remove cover, stir in the remaining chard, and continue baking for another to reduce the sauce and brown the vegetables slightly.  Serve warm, preferably with a fresh, crusty baguette..