Now in season, the parsnip, a sweeter relative of the carrot, lends a delicate sweetness to main dishes. It is most often roasted and boiled into soups or hearty stews, but it can also be glazed in a pan with butter and brown sugar.
Parsnips are very easy to work with, as long as you remember these simple tips. Parsnips will turn brown if you leave them out in open air for too long; this can be avoided by letting them sit in lemon water until you are ready to use them. Also, parsnips need to be peeled, just like carrots, before they can be eaten.
Here is a recipe that gives a modern twist to the traditional winter vegetable. I’ve developed this recipe over time, keeping in mind the way the starchy quality and sweet flavor of the parsnips perfectly complements other herbs and ingredients.
Parsnip Mashed Potatoes
5 baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 medium parsnips, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup milk
¼ cup cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons butter
2 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, and crumbled
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp parsley
1/8 tsp dill weed
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large pot, boil potatoes and parsnips, until both vegetables are tender enough to be mashed with a fork. Drain and pour veggies into a large bowl. Add milk, cream cheese, and butter. Mash until well-blended. (I like to use an electric mixer to get a smooth consistency.) Stir in the bacon, shredded cheese, garlic, parsley, and dill weed, just until mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
You should be able to get about 4-6 servings from this recipe. This is an excellent
side dish to accompany many entrees such as steak or turkey.
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