It seemed like a good idea at the time to buy that big bag of parsnips but I soon I began to wonder just how many ways I could cook these bold flavored roots up. Baked or in soup seemed the obvious ways to go, but I felt like something a little different today. Something that reflected the dreary morning that we had awoken to and the actually quite pleasant evening the day had become. Something brightly flavored, but comforting nonetheless.
For the past few months I really fell out of the routine of creating proper meals. Lunch has been various veggies dunked in an assortment of dips. Dinner has been vegetarian Indian delivered to our door. Slowly though, I am coming back on track. The more we settle in to our new home, the more inspired I find myself. I knew I was on to a winner tonight too, for I had envisaged this dinner before I’d even left the office, let alone alighted the tube. It is always a sure sign it’s going to be good when you’ve been contemplating and dreaming it up for the four hours prior, yes?
So no need to stand at the fridge and scratch my head in thought tonight. This came together inside of an hour, in front of Gossip Girl, and with a glass of vino in hand. The creamy parsnips had a piquancy about them having been blended with a goats cheese reminiscent of Parmesan and a hint of spicy nutmeg. The caramelized onions lay in slumber over the top, and the roasted brussel sprouts to the side had been loosely tossed in maple syrup and sea salt crystals before plating. Even Andy with his mouth full, unable to speak, indicated his enjoyment with a thumbs up! A success of the season, for sure.
Parsnip Polenta with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Brussels.
4 medium parsnips
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/8 cup (or thereabouts) crumbled hard goats cheese
1 and 1/2 red onions, cut into half and then sliced into half moons, separated.
2 cups of brussel sprouts
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
Coconut oil or olive oil or butter – about 3 tbsp total
Pre-heat your oven to 180/350.
Put your onions in a non stick saucepan in a dab of oil of your choice (I used coconut oil) and place them on the stove on a low heat. Put the lid on and stir occasionally.
Chop your brussels in half, and lightly cover in oil before placing in the oven for around 30 minutes, turning at half time.
Peel and chop your parsnips so that the pieces are around the same size. Boil until soft. I cut my parsnips in to thirds and kept them on the stove for a good ten minutes.
When the parsnips are soft, but not mushy, transfer to your blender with a few tbsps of the cooking water. Crumble the goats cheese in, grate some nutmeg over the top and add a little fat (around half a teaspoon). You could use butter or coconut oil depending on your preference. Blend until perfectly smooth.
Plate the parsnip puree as though it were polenta, in a big dollop in your bowl. Top with the onions. Put the brussels in a bowl and toss gently with the maple syrup and salt before serving alongside.
Eat on the couch for the perfect end to an Autumn day.