I am going to tell you right off that this dish is not hubby approved! My husband absolutely cannot stand parsnips, but that has not stood in my way on many an occasion to still cook up a few of these little guys and add them to soups and stocks or smashed potatoes. I actually really enjoy the sweetness that parsnips add. I do imagine that you either love or hate them, so if you do not like parsnips, you probably will not even be reading this blog!
Strange thing is that my 20-year-old son (who by the way never liked much of anything until recently, unless of course, it was in a restaurant) ate 2 heaping piles of this stuff with my short ribs and loved every bite! Go figure! He actually complimented the dish. Shocking! So, I had one fan and one begging for just the potatoes!
I originally tracked down this recipe on the Food Network site, but have made so many changes, I will just tell you what I do and you can mix it up any way you like. The original recipe called for WAY too much butter and heavy cream and we all know that is not in the food eating adjustment in January while trying to stay on a so-called “diet”. Dessert is another matter, but I am not wasting calories and fat on veggies. Besides, this is very tasty with far less fat in it.
If you want the dish to taste more like potatoes, change the proportions. Anything will work. It is just smashed veggies! The only picture I took was before we baked the dish. Things were crazy right before dinner, so I did not get to snap a photo. Just be sure to brown the top under the broiler before serving.
Baked Potato and Parsnip Puree
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes and parsnips (I used about 1/2 and 1/2)
1 bay leaf
3 Tbsp. butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup no-fat half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat to 375 degrees. Wash and peel the veggies. Cut potatoes into quarters and parsnips into halves. Place in a pot of water with bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Cook approximately 15-20 minutes until tender. Using a mixer, beat together and add butter, half and half and salt and pepper to taste. You may want to add more butter or half and half. That’s up to you, but this is what I do.
Place mixture in a small, buttered casserole dish. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and sprinkle with paprika. Bake about 20 minutes, until heated through. Place under a broil for a few seconds until top is browned.
This is a great dish to make ahead and then pop in the oven before dinner. Serve it to all of those folks that love parsnips. Or as my husband says – serve it to guests if you want an early night! 😉 It really is very tasty (regardless of what he thinks) and 20-year-old son approved!