I have only tasted parsnip purée once before and I was surprised to find that it paired extremely well with my chicken and meat entrées and I actually enjoyed it. I didn't think I would choose to eat it alone and I CERTAINLY never imagined I'd whip some up in my own kitchen.
But alas, my holiday preparations have found me searching for new and simple side dishes that make a big bang. If all the professional chefs pair their dishes with parsnip purée, why then, so can I!
And so began my google search for a recipe. To my dismay, many call for heavy cream which I do not use because of its fat content as well as the fact that it is dairy (which does not mesh with meat meals for a kosher eater).
Many recipes included carrots, which I decided would be a good addition for someone who is not sure she will like plain parsnip.
The recipe I finally settled on was a Martha Stewart special, but I adapted it enough that I post it here as my own.
*In case you have never tried parsnip purée, it is not intended to be sweet. It is a more tame flavor that is sort of earthy and natural, a taste that may need to be developed. However, it is really delicious when eaten with classic cuts of meat or chicken, fish, and even sausage. It can truly enhance and decorate a plate. When I first tried it, it was presented under my entrée, and was swirled around the fish to add color, texture, and of course, taste.
Parsnip Carrot Purée
4 medium parsnips cut in 1/2 inch discs
5 small carrots cut in 1/4 inch discs (to ensure even cooking, cut carrots smaller than parsnip)
1 small onion
1-2 cloves minced garlic or 1 1/2 tsp minced jarred garlic
1 T. olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock or low sodium broth
1/2 cup water
Salt and white pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in medium saucepan and sauté onion and garlic until soft and beginning to brown. Add parsnip and carrots and sauté 5 more minutes. Add stock and water to the pot and allow to simmer until vegetables are tender, or about 25 minutes. Purée (with a nifty hand blender) and add salt and pepper to taste.
Please share any and all parsnip experiences in the comments or via Twitter and/or Facebook. I'm curious to hear what you think, especially if you try it!