Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ode to a Parsnip

How is it that I have only discovered this root so recently? I've seen them around, and usually imagined that they tasted a bit like turnips. Recently, a friend suggested that I use them in my veggie pot pie that I made, and among all the other veggies I used in this dish, the parsnip stood out far above the rest.

So I bought some more. What would I do with them this time? I hopped onto epicurious and found a rosemary parsnip risotto recipe. Seemed simple enough, and I've made carrot risotto in the past, so I figured this wouldn't be too far off.

Oh, but I was wrong!! The parsnip and rosemary flavours complemented each other so well! The parsnip tastes like what the carrot only hints at, and when slowly cooked for a while, becomes even sweeter than its shorter, more colourful cousin.

The most fascinating part of the recipe was the drizzle of Balsamic vinegar right before serving. Don't skip this step! It perfectly complements the sweet and strong herbal

Adapted from

I used Pacific Foods organic vegetable broth, which is orange in colour and gave the risotto a pretty orange hue. Otherwise, I'd imagine the risotto might turn a bit grey. This dish makes fabulous leftovers!

8 cups vegetable broth

5 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 pounds parsnips (about 7 medium), peeled, trimmed, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
5 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) arborio rice
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Aged balsamic vinegar (for drizzling)

Bring broth to boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsnips and 3 teaspoons chopped rosemary. Cook until parsnips begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add rice and stir 2 minutes. Add enough warm broth to cover; simmer until almost all broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, and cook until rice and parsnips are tender, allowing each broth addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring frequently, about 20 minutes total. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter, remaining 2 teaspoons rosemary, and cheese. Season risotto to taste with salt and pepper.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.

Makes 6 servings.


BJLondon said...

Hi Sara - am so glad to have found your blog! The entries are fabulous and very inspiring. Have just returned from a long weekend in Bologna (I live in London) where I enjoyed a delicious meal at Da Cesari - I googled it this morning which is how I found your blog. When you're back in Bologna, look for a small enoteca called Divinis on Via Battibecco - we enjoyed some fabulous salamis there and the gnocchi was superb! All the best, Barbara

Sara said...

thanks for the lovely comment - I will definitely try Divinis next time I'm in Bologna!