Tag Archives: parsnip

Smashing Roots

smashed roots tastefoodMashed Sweet Potato, Rutabaga, Celery Root

Root vegetables are sadly underrated. The lowly unsung root is, in fact, a storehouse of nutrients, natural sugars, and starch, and a very healthy and flavorful substitute for the ubiquitous russet potato. It’s also a delicious and simple way to get your daily dose of vitamins during the cold weather season. A peel of the skin reveals a rainbow of anti-oxidant-rich colors ranging from magenta to ochre to buttery yellow, guaranteed to brighten a gray day – and your holiday table. I used sweet potato, celery root and rutabaga for this mash. You can add other roots, such as parsnip, carrot, and the handy russet potato to the mix as well. Be sure to choose a variety for a balance of  sweetness and nutty creamy flavor.

Smashed Roots

I use a combo of sour cream and Greek yogurt in this mash, which creates a little naughty richness and a little tangy lightness. So long as you use a combined amount of 1 cup, you can opt for all of one or the other.

3 pounds mixed roots (such as 1 pound each of sweet potato, celery root, and rutabaga)
Salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
Freshly ground black pepper

Peel the root vegetables and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place the vegetables in a large pot with 2 teaspoons salt and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are very tender. Drain the vegetables and return them to the pot; cool 5 minutes. Add the garlic, butter, sour cream, and yogurt. Smash with a potato masher until the ingredients are blended and the the mash is your desired consistency (I like mine a little chunky). Add salt to your taste and a generous amount of pepper. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve warm.

Prepare ahead:
The mash may be prepared up to 1 day in advance of serving. Cool completely and transfer to a buttered, deep gratin dish. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove from them refrigerator 1 hour before serving. To reheat, heat the oven to 325°F. Dot the top of the mash with about 1 tablespoon of diced butter and cover with foil. Bake in the oven until heated through, 30 to 40 minutes.

Winter Root Soup with Celeriac and Parsnip

winter root soup

This rich and velvety soup will have you guessing it’s laden with cream. Well, guess again. A thick puree of celeriac (celery root) and parsnip is evened out with milk and chicken stock, providing a light and smooth yet surprisingly rich soup.  If you haven’t tried celeriac, it’s time you did. Don’t let its gnarly exterior dissuade you – the inner meat is nutty with mild celery notes. When cooked, its flavor is mellow and sublime, which provides a nice balance to the sweet and earthy parsnip. Thyme and garlic round out the flavors of this slurp-worthy bowl of soup which promises to keep you warm and sated in the cold weather.

Parsnip and Celery Root Soup
Serves 4 to 6.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
1 pound parnsips, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 pound celery root, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 cup whole milk plus more to taste
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent without coloring, about 3 minutes. Add the parsnips, celery root, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer until the vegetables are very soft, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the thyme sprigs. Carefully transfer the soup to a food processor (or use an immersion blender) and purée until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. Add the milk, salt, and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add more milk to your desired consistency. Gently heat over medium-low heat until hot and taste for seasoning. Serve hot.

Roasted Root Vegetable Fries

root fries

If you have a hankering for fries, try these spiced and roasted root fries for a healthy alternative. Switch out the go-to potato for nutrient-rich roots and tubers, such as sweet potato, rutabaga, carrot, and turnip. Mix and match the selection to your taste, but go for a colorful array, guaranteed to brighten your dinner plate. Slow roasting them will coax out the natural sugars which will encourage browning and slight caramelization, without the added fat of deep frying. Serve with a cooling yogurt dip spiked with Sriracha – not too heavy, low in fat, big on flavor. So, go on and indulge in this healthy winter snack and consider it a virtuous start to the new year.

Roasted Root Vegetable Fries
Leave the skin on the baked potato for extra nutrients and texture. If you can get your hands on purple sweet potatoes, give them a try – they maintain their firmness during roasting which makes for a great fry.

Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 pounds assorted root vegetables, such as sweet potato, rutabaga, carrot, parsnip
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sriracha Yogurt Dipping Sauce:
1 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 425°F. Cut the root vegetables into 2-inch batons, about 3/8-inch thick. Place in a large bowl. This the oil, salt, cumin, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetables and stir to evenly coat.

Spread the vegetables in one layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until browned on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Move the baking sheet to the top rack of the oven and bake until golden brown on top and tender but not limp, about 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, whisk the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve the fries with the sauce for dipping.

Baked Root Vegetable Fries

root veg fries tastefood

You can have your fries and still feel virtuous with these colorful roots. Give the russet potato a well-deserved break, and substitute carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, or sweet potato for the ubiquitous spud. As their name implies, root veggies are the roots of growing plants, which means that they are storehouses of energy and nutrients. Not only that, they are jammed with pent up flavor and natural sugars, which translates to sweet, earthy, nuttiness on the plate.

Mix and match your favorite roots and spice to your taste. Simple salt and pepper is always a winner, or spice them up with a zesty mixture of cumin, paprika, and cayenne. And yes, you can have your dipping sauce too without tipping the scales. Try a cool and creamy Greek yogurt sauce infused with garlic and chipotle for a smoky, low fat and highly addictive sauce. Alternatively, ditch the sauce and ramp up the garlic notes with a zesty lemon, garlic and parsley gremolata.

Baked Root Vegetable Fries 
Serves 4 to 6

1 large parsnip
1 large carrot
1 medium sweet potato
1 medium rutabaga
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Chipotle Sauce:
3/4 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
1 chipotle in adobo, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar

Lemon Gremolata:
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian parsley leaves
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Heat the oven to 425°F. Cut the root vegetables in 2-inch batons, about 3/8-inch thick. Place in a large bowl. Add the oil,  salt and pepper and toss to coat. Spread in one layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven until browned on the bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Move the baking sheet to the top rack of the oven and bake until golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, whisk the chipotle sauce ingredients in a small bowl if using. Serve the fries with the sauce for dipping.

Alternatively, remove fries from oven and toss with the gremolata ingredients.

Winter Warmth: Celery Root and Parnsip Soup

Celery root and parsnip team up in this soup with light yet luxurious results. The sweet earthiness of the parsnip grounds the subtle notes of the celeriac, adding depth without overpowering. The two root vegetables mingle and simmer in a simple concoction of chicken stock and thyme until they are soft enough to purée into a thick soup. You might find yourself tempted to call this soup creamy, but no cream is present – that is unless you feel like adding a splash for extra richness. (It’s the holiday season, after all!)

Celery Root and Parsnip Soup

Substitute a little cream for some of the chicken stock after puréeing for an even richer and more luxurious soup. Serves 4.

1 tablepoon olive oil
1 small celery root, about 1 pound, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 large parsnip, about 1/2 pound, peeled, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 garlic clove
3-4 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat olive oil in a pot or deep skillet. Add celery root, parsnip and garlic clove. Sauté until fragrant and vegetables begin to soften without coloring, about 3 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken stock and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer in batches to bowl of a food processor, or use an immersion blender, and purée soup until smooth. Return to pot. Add additional 1 cup chicken stock  or enough for desired consistency. (Optional: Replace 1/2 cup stock with heavy cream.) Stir in pepper and salt; heat through. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot.

Kitchen Magic: Cream of Parsnip Soup

Cream of Parsnip Soup

There were four lonely parsnips in my refrigerator yesterday.  Somehow, they missed the chicken dinner I made earlier in the week, when I scattered onions, rutabagas, and potatoes around the chicken while it roasted.  The parsnips were meant to be included, but were inadvertently left behind in the vegetable crisper, minding their own business nestled between the gypsy peppers and fennel.  It was all for the best.

Yesterday was an indisputable soup day: cold, blustery and rainy.  As I surveyed my refrigerator for inspiration, I eyed the forgotten parsnips and instantly knew what I would make – Cream of Parsnip Soup.  I found some celery hiding behind the fennel in the crisper, and reached for an onion in my onion basket. And, of course, I had a quart of chicken stock that I made from the aforementioned roasted chicken.  With a little cooking and blending, these solitary ingredients transformed themselves into a silky rich soup.  Kitchen magic at its best.

Cream of Parsnip Soup

Serves 4-6

The sweet and nutty flavor of parsnip is evened out by the celery and and chicken stock.  You can substitute 2 cups chopped celery root for the celery stalks for a softer flavor.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 large parsnips, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
4 sage leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup (125 ml.) heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until they begin to sweat.  Add celery. parsnips and garlic and sauté one minute.  Add 3 cups chicken stock, sage and bay leaf.  Simmer, covered, until vegetables are very soft, about 25 minutes.  Remove and discard bay leaf and sage leaves. Purée soup until smooth in a food processor or with an immersion blender. Return soup to pot and stir in cream. Thin soup to desired consistency with additional chicken stock. Heat gently over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Baked Root Vegetable Purée

Root Vegetable Puree tf

There is no set rule for the types of root vegetables you can use in this recipe.  In fact, what you see on the ingredients list is what happened to be in my kitchen when I set out to make a this dish to serve with roast chicken  last night.  As I puréed the steamed vegetables, I envisioned doctoring it with all sorts of extra spices, a little grated cheese, maybe even some minced onion.  But then I tasted the purée, and was blown away by its soft, sweet, nutty flavor.  Mild and delicate, all it needed was salt and pepper and a dollop of sour cream to lighten its texture.  For a little autumnal flourish, I topped the purée with fresh sage leaves before baking, so their woody flavor would lightly infuse the vegetables.

Baked Root Vegetable Purée
Baking the purée creates a crusty texture on its top.  If you would like a soft purée, omit the baking step.  The sage leaves will lightly infuse the purée with their flavor during baking.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

3 medium parsnips
2 large turnips
1 large sweet potato
1 large rutabaga (swede)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup (60  ml.) creme fraiche or sour cream
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sage leaves for garnish

Peel and cut vegetables in 2 inch chunks.  Steam in a large pot until very tender, 20-30 minutes.  Transfer in two batches to a food processor.  Purée each batch with 2 tablespoons butter. Combine puréed vegetables, sour cream, salt and pepper in large bowl and mix well.  Pour into baking dish.  (Purée can be made to this point up to one day in advance.  Allow to cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
Arrange sage leaves on top of purée, pressing gently.  Bake in pre-heated 350 F. oven 25 minutes.  Remove and serve immediately.