photo provided courtesy of affairsofliving.com
I haven’t eaten potatoes in years. Although I undeniably enjoy the starchy goodness of a potato and the multiplicity of ways to enjoy them, consuming them just isn’t worth the allergy-induced joint swelling and digestive discomfort that inevitably results.
Instead of mourning over the loss of potatoes, I found solace in other starchy vegetables. Sweet potatoes have always reigned supreme over any other true potato in my book, and I enjoyed a reason to romance their sweet, orange flesh. I adopted my mother’s love for parsnips and beets at a young age, and explored their versatility further, quickly becoming obsessed with their different yet equally sweet flavors and hearty textures. I explored the glory of the celeriac, the gnarly vegetable that is also known as celery root, and took a liking to its unique, strong flavor. I tried every squash I could get my hands on, and prepared it almost every way I could think of. I mashed cauliflower to use as a topping for shepherd’s pie, made creamy pureed soups from turnips, and made french fries out of rutabagas and carrots.
Truly, I haven’t missed potatoes a bit.
This recipe is my latest exploration into the world of starchy vegetable side dishes. The flavor of this dish is striking. It is sweet and nutty, with a rich texture that will surely win over any mashed potato lover.
• 5 large parsnips
• 3 large tart apples, such as Honeycrisp
• 4 tablespoons butter or ghee cut into small pieces, or for a dairy-free option use equal amount of olive oil or refined coconut oil
• ground or grated nutmeg
• unrefined salt
• freshly cracked black pepper
• water or broth
- Pre-heat oven to 350º F.
- Wash and peel parsnips. Cut off thin end and chop into 1-inch pieces. Quarter larger part and remove woody core, then chop into 1-inch pieces. Peel apples, quarter and core, and chop into 1-inch pieces. Place in a 9-inch x 13-inch dish. Add pieces of butter or ghee to dish. Sprinkle with a few pinches of nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. Pour enough water into the dish to lightly cover the bottom of the dish, then place in the oven.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes at 350º F, stirring after 30 minutes. Then turn up the heat to 425º F, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and parsnips and apples begin to brown and caramelize.
- Remove from oven and place parsnips and apples in a food processor or a blender. Process until smooth, adding enough water or broth to get the mixture moving and to reach desired consistency. Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve.
recipe courtesy affairsofliving.com