Parsnip & Leek Smash

8 Mar

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.

To make:


  • 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.


11 Responses to “Parsnip & Leek Smash”

  1. Karen March 8, 2012 at 09:52 #

    Sounds great. I have the parsnips and creme fraiche, I just need to shop for the leeks.

  2. Sharon March 8, 2012 at 11:05 #

    Love this idea! I haven’t had leeks in ages, but I bet this is a dish my family would love. (They’re big mashed potato fans, but I’d like to change things up a bit more…) Thanks for the post!

    • matthew March 8, 2012 at 13:05 #

      Thanks for reading! Hope your family enjoys!

  3. Michelle March 8, 2012 at 11:49 #

    I love parsnips! And your photos are lovely.

    • matthew March 8, 2012 at 13:04 #

      Thanks! Parsnips are awesome!

  4. Shira March 8, 2012 at 11:51 #

    I simply love mashed vegetables – and this looks so hearty, tasty, and healthy! Thanks! Great blog, btw! 🙂

    • matthew March 8, 2012 at 13:04 #

      Thanks for the kind words! Hope you try this and enjoy it!

  5. j3ssi33ss3x March 8, 2012 at 12:50 #

    Reblogged this on The Three G's.

  6. frugalfeeding March 8, 2012 at 14:13 #

    Sounds yummy! What a pretty looking mash, sorry smash! This would go well with some roast meat 😀 Or on its own with some browned cheddar 😀

  7. whilehewasout March 9, 2012 at 07:38 #

    Oh yummy, amazing photos as well!

  8. Anonymous April 1, 2012 at 18:58 #

    This internet website is my aspiration, extremely outstanding design and Perfect articles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: