Parsnips and leeks, you say? Indeed. And with the addition of a little creme fraiche, this turns into a delicious side for any meal.
This is a great substitute for boring mashed potatoes, and though it’s simple to make with just three ingredients, it has a complex flavor that you’ll be craving time and time again. And it’s a pretty healthy dish, too.
Ever since I started adding parsnips into my regular rotation of vegetables, I have not been disappointed. The albino cousin of the carrot doesn’t particularly look like more than just an ordinary root, but it has a nutty flavor that really stands out. I prefer to leave the outer skin of the parsnip on, as it isn’t very thick and adds a nice texture.
These parsnips were given to me at the end of the growing season in late fall and I just now have gotten around to using them. They were grown organically at a local farm and were stored properly for a couple of months, allowing the fresh flavor to last well into winter.
And lest we forget the other main component of this dish, the leek. I find it is another underutilized vegetable with a lot of flavor. It’s related to onion and garlic, and works very well together with the parsnips.
Once the veggies are cut and boiled, put them in a bowl and use a potato masher to smash them all together. Add in the creme fraiche, salt and pepper and plate next to your main dish.
- 3 medium sized leeks, cut into 1/2″ rings
- 1 pound parsnips, skin on, cut into 1-2″ chunks
- 1/3 cup creme fraiche
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and add parsnips and leeks. Let cook in boiling water until soft, about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from water and place in a medium sized bowl. Smash up the leek and parsnip together until mashed together. Add in creme fraiche, salt and pepper and mash together some more. (You can make this as smooth/chunky as you want, I prefer it somewhere in between.)
Plate and serve. You could garnish with nutmeg or a small dollop of creme fraiche.