Side with Parsnips

Try this savory side dish, perfect for warming up the autumn chill.

by Jean Hecker

Autumn is always my favorite time of the year. I just started decorating the house with seasonal decorations and needed a few more items, so I drove down to HomeGoods near Hamilton Malll and stocked up. Just walking through the store makes you feel good. I got a huge apple-shaped cutting board that I am using as a refresher on one of my kitchen counters and I found a beautiful set of four grey plaid linen napkins with a charming pumpkin embroidered on each. I also found for Halloween, a stuffed felt Black Cat face in the shape of a pumpkin. It doesn’t take much to give the house that fall feeling or to give yourself that little lift of the spirits.

I’m looking forward to all of the fall produce, especially the root vegetables. Here is a great little side dish for any meal and especially something different for the holidays.

Parsnip Mash with Fried Brussels Sprout Leaves
2 lbs parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 cups whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb Brussels sprout leaves; just peel off leaves and save core for another use.
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt and crushed red pepper for serving

Simmer parsnips and milk in a medium saucepan until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and discard milk. (I save the milk for cream of tomato soup by freezing it in plastic containers).

Mash parsnips, add butter and cream, stirring until melted. Season with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and on a rimmed baking sheet toss sprouts with olive oil and roast for about 15 minutes until golden and crisp.

Spoon mash into serving bowl and top with sprouts. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and crushed red pepper and enjoy. n

Jean Hecker has a BA in Home Economics Education from Rowan University and enjoys exploring all facets of the food and restaurant industry.

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Food for Thought