Today I made you some mashed pahsnips.
Pahhhhsnips. That’s me with my Boston accent. I don’t actually have one, but if I did, this would be a fun vegetable for you to hear me pronounce. I pahked the pahsnips in Hahvahd yahd… you know.
Speaking of Boston accents, that is where I am headed at the end of the week! I will be home for Christmas and then for a few days afterward, when my mom and are planning to bang out some major wedding planning. So far my mom has taken care of everything, and – gulp – we booked our venue without me having seen it in person. I can’t wait to see it myself, taste the delicious food they’re going to make us, meet with photographers, etc. Maybe that will make it all seem a little more real! Because right now it still seems like just a reeeeally good dream. A really good dream that is taking over my Pinterest boards.
The wedding may have been occupying the majority of my mindshare lately, but I haven’t forgotten about that upcoming holiday! I even mashed up an exotic root vegetable for you in honor of it.
Ah yes, pahhhsnips.
I don’t have too many parsnip recipes on this blog, mostly because I’m never quite sure what to do with them. To me, they seem like a cross between carrots and potatoes, both in looks and taste. And that’s a little confusing. I like to eat carrots raw, but… not potatoes. And I like to dip potatoes in ketchup, but… not carrots. So what to do with a root that’s somewhere in between?
Browned butter to the rescue!
Browned butter, coriander, thyme and pistachios, that is. It’s a great combination for solving the problem of what to do with a vegetable halfway in between a potato and a carrot.
These mashed parsnips are much liked mashed potatoes in texture, but they definitely have their own parsnip-y taste. With a little boost from the browned butter, of course. I used 2 tablespoons of butter here, but you can feel free to up it to 4 tablespoons for even more deep browned butter flavor. I also loved the coriander and thyme combination – herbal but not overly so, perfect to complement the rich butter.
These would be the perfect side dish for Christmas dinner – something a little different than mashed potatoes, but still familiar enough not to scare anyone off. I can’t help imagining them with some meaty gravy dripping down the side! But that’s not very vegetarian of me, is it?
Christmas dinner – I can’t believe it’s in one week. So many cookies to bake and presents to wrap before then!
- 2 lbs parsnips, peeled and chopped into large, evenly-sized chunks
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (increase to 4 Tbsp for deep browned butter flavor)
- 1/2 Tbsp packed fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped, for garnish (optional)
- Place chopped parsnips in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until fork-tender, 6-10 minutes. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a small pan, warm butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, swirl over heat until browned. Remove from heat and set aside until parsnips are finished cooking.
- Placed drained cooked parsnips and browned butter in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. (The parsnips and butter can also be whipped with a hand mixer in the pot used to boil the parsnips.) Add thyme leaves and coriander and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately, sprinkled with toasted pistachios. Enjoy!