mashed potato and parsnips

Ginormous Parsnips

We are a parsnip-eating family and I am always amazed when people say they've never tried one. Or that they once had a bite of one from some soup or other.

This is a vegetable that doesn't get its due.

It should.

Parsnips -- those white-ish, carrot-looking things -- are sweet. Kids and vegetable-haters of all kinds also usually like them (after you convince them to take a bite). 

And there is so much you can do with them. Make "fries." Roast them with garlic and herbs. Glaze them with Chermoula. Use it for soup

Slim parsnips make the best fries or other vegetable side dishes. But these ginormous ones can be woody. It's best to use them for soup or recipes that require longer cooking (and you'll have to remove the hard, inner core. Cut the parsnips in half, crosswise, then cut around the core; discard the core).

This Parsnip and Potato Puree can be dairy or dairy-free. It's a good choice for a vegetarian dinner or Meatless Monday dish. It's also a nice side dish for Thanksgiving dinner because it tastes good with turkey and other poultry.

Parsnip and Potato Puree

  • 1 pound parsnips, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 pound Yukon gold or all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 McIntosh or other crisp, tart apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk or unflavored soy milk, rice milk or coconut milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the parsnips and potatoes in lightly salted boiling water for 10 minutes. Add the apples, lower the heat, and cook for another 5 minutes or until the parsnips and potatoes are tender. Drain the ingredients and return them to the pan. Add the butter and mash it into the other ingredients. Continue to mash, adding the milk gradually, until the ingredients form a smooth puree. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4–6 servings.