Parsnips are an often misunderstood root vegetable. They are in season during the winter and can basically be used in cooking applications as a substitute for either carrots or potatoes.
One of the important things to remember when cooking parsnips is that if you fail to peel them or remove the hard cores they can give your dish an undesirable and bitter flavor.
What follows is a recipe for “Parsnip, Tomato and Cheese Casserole” that you may want to add to your winter table.
To make parsnip, tomato and cheese casserole you will need to gather together the following ingredients;
• 6 tbsp. butter
• 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cored
• 16 ounces stewed tomatoes
• 2 tsp. brown sugar
• 1 ½ cups Gruyere cheese, grated
• 5 tbsp. oil
• 1 ¼ cup heavy cream
• 4 tbsp. fresh bread crumbs, white
Begin by slicing the parsnips into thin slices. Then add 5 tablespoons of oil to a medium size skillet and let it get hot. Once the oil is hot add the parsnips to the pan and sauté them for 5 minutes.
Proceed by preheating the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and greasing a medium sized casserole dish using three tablespoons of butter.
Next take the sautéed parsnips and place them into the casserole dish. This will represent the first layer of the casserole. It is important to note that you can have more than one layer of parsnips depending on the size and shape of your casserole dish.
Once you have your first layer of parsnips established, sprinkle it with salt, pepper, some heavy cream and brown sugar.
Continue with the second layer by adding the tomatoes, more cream and the grated cheese. Repeat the layering until the casserole dish is almost full.
The top layer of the casserole should consist of heavy cream, grated cheese, bread crumbs and a few dots of butter.
Place the casserole into the oven and let it cook for 45 minutes or until the top of the casserole is golden brown and bubbly.
Parsnip casserole pairs well with most proteins. Those home cooks that are looking to give their menu a rustic feel would do well to pair the casserole with roasted venison or lamb.
It can also be served with either a white or red wine depending on the main dish it is being served with.