Right, i really thought i should do another parsnip recipe. This will bring my tally of parsnip recipes for the winter to three, which seems like i'm providing you with a bit more of a selection, after promising i'd be doing parsnip and leek recipes galore this winter.
I'm down to my last few parsnips in the garden (the photo was taken much earlier in the season; now there is very little greenery to indicate where the remaining few lie), and the cores are getting
a little woody.
My coriander, on the other hand is at the other end of its life cycle. I grew a large number of seedlings in autumn, and have been judiciously harvesting leaves throughout the winter. I'm expecting the plants to have a growth spurt any time now and have coriander coming out my ears.
The recipe is from an Annabelle White book called 'Seasons - A Year of Fabulous Food' published in 2002, and it has lots of really simple but lovely seasonal recipes.
The parsnip and coriander custard recipe is one i have used previously, and it is a great way to use end-of-season parsnips, as the pureeing means that you don't notice any woodiness that might otherwise have detracted from the parsnips. Annabel notes in her book that 'they are so easy and always work - for a small group to a large banquet - and best of all they are perfectly portion controlled''.
Another thing i like about them when cooking for a dinner party is that they can be made ahead of time and reheated in a water bath. I'm terrible at cooking when i have guests - i get very easily distracted by conversation, so dishes that can be prepared ahead of time are ideal. Annabel suggests that the recipe makes about 10 small custards; my only ramekins are 1-cup size, and i ended up with 4 servings of about 175ml or 200ml each - which is actually quite a big serving for what is a fairly rich dish. However i'd think 6 to 8 servings, rather than 10 would be about right for the amount of mixture i got.
I used one less egg than suggested in the recipe, as my hens are still on the winter go-slow phase of egg production, and i didn't want to make such a big dent in my meagre egg stocks. I also only used about 50 ml of cream and replaced the rest with milk, which worked just fine. I think you could easily get away with using all milk if you didn't have any cream to hand. I used a bit more coriander than called for - 3 or 4 tablespoons rather than 2 - because; a) i like coriander and b) i picked too much and didn't want to waste it.
The custards were creamy and luscious and a very nice way to eat parsnips for a change.
PARSNIP and CORIANDER CUSTARDS
From Annabel White's book 'Seasons - A Year of Fabulous Food'
500g peeled parsnips
75 g melted butter
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
150 ml cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Peel and slice the parsnips and steam until just tender. Saute the cooked parsnips with the ground cumin and chopped coriander in the melted butter. Cool, then puree with the cream and eggs, and check for seasonings.
Place in buttered ramekins and cook in a water bath for 20 to 30 minutes at 180 degrees or until firm.