Parsnips are a versatile and delicious root vegetable that has been enjoyed for centuries in various cuisines around the world. They have a rich history and are believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region. This humble vegetable has played an essential role in many traditional recipes, adding a unique flavor and texture to dishes.
To make a delectable parsnip dish, we will prepare boiled parsnips in a creamy white sauce. This simple yet delicious recipe enhances the natural sweetness and earthy flavor of parsnips, making it an excellent side dish for any meal. Additionally, the same technique can be applied to prepare oyster plant, a similar root vegetable that is often used as a substitute for parsnips.
Before we delve into the recipe, let's take a moment to explore some interesting facts about parsnips. Did you know that parsnips were once used as a sweetener before the arrival of cane sugar in Europe? Their high sugar content made them a popular alternative for sweetening desserts and beverages. This unique quality continues to be appreciated in modern dishes, where parsnips are often used in desserts like parsnip cake or in cocktails to add natural sweetness.
Now, let's get started with the recipe!
Boiled Parsnips in White Sauce Recipe:
- 1 pound of fresh parsnips
- Water for boiling
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Begin by preparing the parsnips. Scrub them thoroughly with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt or debris. Peel the parsnips using a vegetable peeler, ensuring to remove the tough outer skin. After peeling, cut them into evenly sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
2. Fill a large pot with water and add salt. Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the water to a boil.
3. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, carefully add the prepared parsnips to the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook the parsnips for about 10-15 minutes or until they are fork-tender. Be cautious not to overcook them, as they can become mushy.
4. While the parsnips are cooking, prepare the white sauce. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the flour and whisk continuously to form a smooth paste, known as a roux.
5. Slowly pour the milk into the saucepan while whisking continuously to avoid any lumps from forming. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens and becomes smooth and creamy. This process usually takes about 5-7 minutes.
6. Once the white sauce has reached the desired consistency, season it with salt and pepper according to your taste preference. Feel free to add any additional herbs or spices to enhance the flavor further.
7. Drain the boiled parsnips and transfer them to a serving dish. Pour the prepared white sauce over the parsnips, ensuring that they are evenly coated.
8. Serve the boiled parsnips in white sauce as a delightful side dish alongside roasted meats, poultry, or even as a vegetarian main course. Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or chives for an added touch of freshness.
Fun fact: In addition to their versatility in savory dishes, parsnips can also be used in various sweet preparations. They can be used to make parsnip fries, parsnip chips, parsnip mash, and even parsnip pancakes, which are a healthier alternative to traditional pancakes.
In case you'd like to experiment with other root vegetables, oyster plant is an excellent option that can be prepared using the same method as parsnips. Oyster plant, also known as salsify, has a mild and delicate flavor, making it a great addition to soups, stews, and casseroles.
To prepare oyster plant using this recipe, replace the parsnips with oyster plant roots of similar size and follow the same steps. The result will be a delicious dish that showcases the unique taste and texture of this often under-appreciated root vegetable.
So, next time you come across a bunch of parsnips or oyster plant at your local market, don't hesitate to give this recipe a try. The boiled parsnips in white sauce are sure to impress your family and friends with their simplicity and exceptional flavor. Enjoy!
Similar recipe dishes that you may also enjoy include roasted parsnip and carrot medley, parsnip and potato gratin, parsnip and apple soup, or even parsnip and ginger cake. These recipes allow you to explore the various flavors and textures of parsnips while showcasing their versatility in different culinary creations.