The local farmer’s market has started up again and when I wander the stalls and I am often in a mood to seek out new things to try. Though not utterly foreign to me before this last weekend, I had never had parsnips. I always liked the word. I imagined them in stews you’d find in children’s books or between the covers of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
And so I bypassed the black radishes for sale (maybe too adventurous for me) and bought a handful of parsnips. Now. What to do?
Roast? Grill? Or how about easing into it, with a friendly potato and parsnip mash? Yes. This.
You can use russet or new potatoes in this dish if you wish, but using a cream potato, such as the Yukon gold, will give a much creamier texture and taste. I use milk in this recipe, but you can use cream–however, the Yukon golds are creamy enough that you can still get the same effect with fewer calories.
Garlicky Potato and Parsnip Puree
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cloves diced garlic
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
- salt to taste
- Cover parsnips and potatoes with cold water in a 6 large pot, then add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil, partially covered. Reduce heat and simmer vegetables, partially covered, until very tender but not falling apart, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring milk, butter,and pepper to a simmer in 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat.
- Drain vegetables in a colander. Use a potato masher to mash to desired consistency.
- Add salt to taste, and sour cream and parsley if you so wish.