I said earlier this winter i would be featuring plenty of leek and parsnip recipes, but i have only posted one parsnip recipe so far, so it is Time For Some More Parsnip Recipes! (or at least one...)
I'v made several batches of the parsnip soup featured last month, and we've been having roast parsnip with the veges whenever the husband cooks up a roast, but the parsnips in the ground seem to have been continuing to grow.
I think my soil was a bit heavy in the area where these giants were dug, causing the forking
They're not going to win any beauty contests, either. This dish is ideal for using parsnips that are somewhat past their prime - the largest one, which i used last night, was a bit woody in the centre while the outer flesh was a little bit spongy. I chopped out the woodiest bits of the core, but wasn't overly fussy, and by the time it had been boiled, mashed and incorporated into the risotto the imperfections were not able to be noticed.
My last post i mentioned i had yet to bring myself to make the cauliflower and cheese risotto recipe i'd found, because of my firm-held belief in the unattractiveness of a white vegetable in a white risotto. Parsnip obviously holds the same problem, but the addition of the rocket saves this dish from looking like a bowl of white mush. However it still took me a while to get around to making this after coming across the recipe one winter, because i was more used to risottos with lumps of vegetable incorporated into the smooth rice, and i just wasn't sure about mashed vegetable in a risotto. However a few years back when i had a glut of parsnips and was desperate for varied ways to use them i bit the bullet and tried out this recipe. I've been making it ever since. It is a very satisfying meal, real winter comfort food.
As well as a picture of the parsnips i dug up yesterday, i thought i'd take a picture of my far more photogenic rocket, which is looking very pretty at present, all in flower. The rocket gets quite strong and peppery by the time it is going to flower, so it is ideal for using in this dish, with plenty of flavour.
This is a recipe i copied from a magazine years ago, possibly the Sunday Star times, but i did not record where i got it from or who it was by. The original title was "Parsnip and Rocket Risotto with Prosciutto", but i've never yet used prosciutto in any dish. Feel free to add it if you wish. The other serving suggestion is to top the risotto with crispy parsnip fries, which i have done on occasion, and very nice it is too, with the fries offering crunchy texture to contrast with the creamy risotto. Usually i can't be bothered with the extra flaff required to make the parsnip fries, and just serve the risotto unadorned, but today i made the fries because they make the photo prettier.
PARSNIP and ROCKET RISOTTO
4 medium parsnips
4 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups arborio rice
2 cups good chicken stock, heated
1/2 cup cream
2 cups baby rocket leaves
Boil parsnips in water until tender. Drain and mash, reserving the liquid.
Heat butter in a large, heavy based frying pan and gently fry the onion until translucent. Add the rice and stir over a moderate heat for one to two minutes. Add the hot stock, half a cup at a time and cook, stirring frequently until the rice has absorbed the liquid before adding more.
Add as much of the reserved hot parsnip water as needed, until the rice is tender. Stir in the parsnip and cream, followed by the rocket.
Serve immediately with prosciutto curls and crispy parsnip fries
(To make parsnip fries: shave strips of parsnip flesh with a peeler and fry in hot oil until golden. Drain on paper towels)