Now I know what you’re saying, “What is this silly girl thinking starting a blog about fresh farmer’s market foods in the Northeast, in January – don’t you realize how cold it is out there?!” Well, yes, 49 states did reach the freezing point yesterday – I never said this was going to be easy! But you know what? I just got back from my first official visit to the market and found that I’ve got a surprising amount to work with. And besides, this is a great time for us to get acquainted. By the time the first spring crops start rolling in we will be old pals and imagine the excitement we will experience together (my gosh I can hardly wait!)! But for now, I will earn your confidence and loyalty the hard way. WEEK ONE, RECIPE ONE: Roasted Parsnip Puree!
I found some beautiful parsnips at the Migliorelli Farm stand. This farm originated in the Bronx in 1933 and was founded by Italian immigrants who brought broccoli rabe over from Italy. They are now located in the Hudson Valley, and still have broccoli rabe from their original Italian plants (don’t worry I’ll be a mad-forager the very second they have it for sale!). But this week’s find are these beautiful parsnips.
I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve ever really had a parsnip and I didn’t exactly know what they were. So, I did some research and found that they are closely related to carrots – YUM – …Which means they are sweet and super healthy, and really delicious when roasted.
As you all know it’s freezing outside and I have some good steaks I planned on cooking up for dinner, so, I thought that nothing would be better than a warm parsnip puree to go with them.
After a little experimenting I came up with a naturally creamy, flavorful, and homey side that will go with any winter dish.
Lets get started!
You start by peeling off the outer layer of skin. Make sure to cut off the ends.
Take note of the core. I learned that the core at the fatter part of the parsnip can be particularly woody and stringy. When you chop your parsnips try and cut that part out.
Chop your parsnips into nice one inch cubes. Please don’t make fun of my knife skills!
You know how amazing carrots are with butter? Well so are parsnips! Before roasting coat them well with melted butter.
Place in a single layer on a roasting tray and roast until golden brown.
Put into a food processor and season to taste. Pulse and add water until you reach desired consistency. The beauty of this recipe is that the parsnips are so creamy on their own that you don’t need to add cream. Save those calories for dessert!
Serve immediately and garnish with a dash of nutmeg to further bring out the flavors. You end up with a warm, hearty, delicious side that is a great stand-in for your every day mashed potatoes.
For a cold January night where, even in my kitchen, I can feel the wind blowing off the east river, nothing is more comforting and delicious! Bon appetit!
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