November 17, 2010

Sautéd Mushroom and Roasted Parsnip Mash

It seems that parsnips, like turnips, have become an old-fashioned vegetable that evokes visions of a kettle over an open fire or a ruddy-looking woman in with a kerchief on her head, digging in the dirt for something to eat. Or maybe I have an overactive imagination.

I have to admit that I regularly forget that parsnips even exist when I'm in the grocery store, because they're usually kind of hidden in the produce section. But I had a craving for them the other day, sparked by this recipe for Parsnip Bacon. Unfortunately, I could never find the time to make it, because I've been using the oven so often for baking.

So when I realized that I needed to use up the parsnips I had purchased, I did a quick scan of the fridge in order to see if anything caught my interest. There was a package of baby bella mushrooms sitting right next to them, and my brain decided, largely without my participation, that I should try making some sort of mash out of the two.

I've never roasted mushrooms and wanted to do something I knew would work, so I decided to sauté those babies while I roasted the parsnips. When I blended the whole mixture together with some creamy goat cheese (yes, I'm on a bit of a goat cheese kick recently), the umami factor was huge.

Sautéd Mushroom and Roasted Parsnip Mash

  • 5-6 parsnips, washed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 1 package (1 1/2 cups) baby bella or other mushrooms, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup creamy goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided in half
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Along with half  the olive oil, toss parsnips and some salt and pepper in a roasting pan, and give them a good shimmy until they're all coated with olive oil. Roast for 15-ish minutes, until tender.

2. Wash and chop mushrooms while preheating the second half of the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Sauté mushrooms with a little salt and pepper until they turn golden brown and tender. Eat a few out of the pan, and then eat a few more. They are so good. Meanwhile, remove parsnips from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.

4. Add parsnips, mushrooms, goat cheese, and chicken stock to taste (depending on how thick or thin you want your mash), and purée until mash reaches desired consistency. Serve warm, with a little parmesan grated over the top.

If you've never bought, cooked, or eaten them, parsnips are so good. They look like white carrots, but they taste like nothing else in the world. Seriously. They're something of a holiday mainstay, but they deserve more love than that. Try this mash and see what you think--the mushrooms and goat cheese moderate the strong taste of parsnips and create the perfect side dish for a hearty fall meal.

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