Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Roasted Parsnips with Mint

Going to the grocery store, or the farmer's market, is dangerous for me.  More often than not, I come home with a completely and utterly random ingredient that I then have to figure out how to cook.  In the past I have purchased squash blossoms, lovely purple cauliflower, beets, rhubarb and sugar snap peas this way.  This week my random purchase was parsnips.  Then I was flipping though The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor last night and stumbled upon their recipe for Roasted Parsnips with Mint.

I have to post this with the caveat that I have never cooked parsnip before.  Actually, I don't think I have ever eaten parsnip before - except in purees.  I feel like parsnip and sunchoke purees are now the de rigeur things to serve with your saddle of lamb or any other hunk of rich meat.  And in that preparation I really like parsnip.  Same goes with parsnip soup.  In this preparation?  To be honest, I'm not so sure.  Somehow the parsnips became a little oilier than I liked and the flavor of the mint and the parsnip didn't quite seem to gel.  I also thought that the parsnips would get a little sweeter as I roasted them.  Granted, we didn't get quite as much caramelization as I would like (even though we roasted the parsnips 7 minutes longer than the recipe dictated).  So I have modified the recipe in my post to reflect how I wish I had prepared the parsnips this time.

If anyone else has any luck with the recipe, or any suggestions on how to cook parsnips in the future, please let me know!  I am always on the hunt for new recipes, or new tips!  Perhaps next time I will try a parsnip soup...

Recipe after the jump!

Roasted Parsnips with Mint
The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor
By Matt & Ted Lee

2 lbs parsnips, trimmed (can substitute turnips or rutabagas)
5 tbsp evoo
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch scallions, roots trimmed, cut into 3-inch lengths
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Peel parsnips and cut into 3-inch long segments.  Slice each piece lengthwise to make rods that are roughly 1/3 inch in diameter.  Place parsnips in a large baking pan, then add 2 tbsp of evoo, 1/2 tsp of salt, and black pepper.  Toss to combine.  Roast, turning occasionally until the parsnips are nicely browned and cooked through, about 30-35 minutes total, adding scallions 2/3 of the way through. 

Meanwhile prepare mint dressing.  In a small bowl whisk remaining 3 tbsp evoo, vinegar, shallot, garlic, and remaining s&p.

Transfer roasted vegetables to a serving platter.  Spoon dressing evenly over parsnips and serve.

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