It may seem like Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes; but if you’re looking to do something a little different this year, you may want to turn to parsnips instead of potatoes.
First of all, parsnips are healthier than potatoes - and I know I can use all the help I can get during this decadent tradition! Parsnips also provide a divine texture and earthy flavor to the dish that potatoes always seem to lack.
I was first introduced to mashed parsnips when my friend and excellent Italian cook, James made them for me while I was pregnant. I’ve never forgotten how creamy and decadent they were and I instantly knew I would be replacing potatoes with parsnips from now on.
This dish has great complexity and will make your Thanksgiving instantly seem like a fancier affair!
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4):
- 2 pounds parsnips (add ½ pound parsnips for every guest and adjust accordingly)
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 1 tbs salt
- 1 tbs sugar
- Kosher salt (to taste)
- Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
- Dash of nutmeg
- Chopped chives (optional)
- Peel the parsnips and chop them into blocks or strips.
- Submerge them in a pot of water and add one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of salt.
- Bring the pot to a boil and let cook until the parsnips are fork tender.
- Parsnips have a fibery texture that you can’t just boil and smash away. You need to blend them into a puree using your favorite kitchen tool! I use my small food chopper and it works just fine. (I hear the Vitamix is excellent for this, though.) Puree until velvety.
- While the parsnips are hot, add butter, nutmeg, cream and salt and pepper to taste. Put some chopped chives or ground pepper on top to make it pretty.
- Yum! Enjoy!