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Parsnip Pureé

Parsnip Pureé

 A couple of weeks ago, I ate dinner at a local restaurant, and it included a portion of parsnip pureé as an accompaniment to the short ribs I ordered. Wow, what a unexpected surprise when I scooped the first forkful into my mouth! Why hadn’t I ever tried parsnips before? They taste so sweet you’d think sugar had been added.

I quickly rushed off to buy some parsnips to cook at home, and have made parsnips pureé a couple of times since then. I didn’t make short ribs, but the pureé sure added a lot of pizzazz to the meat loaf that night.
Like carrots, parsnips are a root vegetable, and they’re high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. Parsnips are also high in antioxidants and a great source of dietary fiber. But the best part is the sweetness. Before the advent of sugarcane and beets to Europe, they were used as a sweetener, and the Romans even believed parsnips to be an aphrodisiac. Now do I have your attention?
This recipe is easy to make ahead of time, and reheats well in the microwave too. First peel the parsnips, slice them and cook them with the liquid (I used a mix of skim milk and heavy cream since that’s what I had. But you could use half and half, or just milk.) They don’t take long to soften.
After they’re cooked, remove the bay leaf, drain the parsnips and place in a food processor with some of the liquid. Process until smooth, adding more of the liquid to the food processor (I used it all) if necessary.
Sprinkle with parsley.
It makes a great accompaniment to meats, or as a base for fish.
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Parsnip Pureé

printable recipe here
Adapted from a Tyler Florence recipe

3 large parsnips
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
(or 1 cup half and half)
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 bay leaf
4 Tablespoons butter
salt, pepper to taste

Peel the parsnips and place them in a pan with the milk, cream, garlic and bay leaf. Let everything come to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook until the parsnips are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the parsnips (but keep the liquid) and place the parsnips in a food process, with some of the liquid. Add the butter, salt and pepper, and process until smooth, adding more of the liquid if necessary to think out the pureé.

This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. Funny, I always see parsnips in the market, always thinking myself "I should do something with these" and then, for whatever reason, pass them by. Now I have some good reasons not to.

  2. I love parsnips, and I posted a recipe for Brussels sprouts on parsnip puree……..made them for Thanksgiving, so good.
    Who needs mashed potatoes?

    Last nt at Razza, we had the market plate w/ roasted turnips, sunchokes and PARSNIPS! I could eat them everyday.
    Such a great smell too!


    1. And don't forget your nicely adapted Gjelina's Roasted Parsnips w/ Hazelnut Picada recipe – I made that and loved it, those sticks of parsnip really were like candy. I even used the last of them chopped up in shepherd's pie and posted about it yesterday, linking to your recipe. Thank you! And Linda, so glad you're now on the bandwagon!

  3. qui la chiamiamo "pastinaca" ed è effettivamente poco usata, un po' come il sedano rapa. La prossima volta che la vedrò sul banco del fruttivendolo voglio assolutamente comperarla !Bella ricetta Linda, buon weekend

  4. I always add parsnips to my vegetable and/or minestrone soup. Just to get more vegetables in our body (we don't eat nearly enough). I like how sweet they taste. For those who haven't tried them, they taste very much like a carrot.

    Another "mash" that is delicious is pureed celery root. Ugly looking vegetable, but delicious when cooked!

  5. The last time I made parsnips I was in my Senior year in college and foods was an elective. I loved the class and aced it — should have stuck with food all along especially since i've always loved to cook. Now, I don't know why I haven't made parsnips 🙁 I've always wanted my children to experience different tastes and cuisines. Looks like I'll be grabbing some parsnips this week for Honey and I to enjoy. Thank you for the reminder. And they say you can't teach old dogs new tricks 😉 Have a great weekend.

  6. I discovered parsnips and turnips when I moved to MN. I have never cooked them in milk. Will try that before comfort-food season ends. They have the added benefit of being inexpensive. Watch the price go up as everyone rediscovers them.

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