Parsnips are a vegetable that doesn’t receive much love, but I love them. While I have no time at all for Brussels Sprouts (ick!!) parsnips have long been a vegetable I adore. I remember the first time I had parsnips, I was about 8 years old, and we were visiting my aunt and uncle for lunch, and on our plate was an orange white mash consisting of carrot and parsnips. I had no idea what parsnips were back then, but on first taste I fell in love with parsnips, and have loved them since then. I still love carrot and parsnip mash to this day (**note to self to share my carrot and parsnip mash recipe**). It always reminds me of that day.
As much as I love parsnips, and as much as I love risotto, I had never actually thought of combining the two. So, when I came across Alice Hart’s Parsnip, Sage and Mascarpone Risotto in her Vegetarian: A Delicious Celebration of Fresh Ingredients, I just had to give it a try.
To Alice’s recipe I added baby spinach, because I felt the Parsnip Risotto looked a bit anemic otherwise, in it’s pale creaminess. I was also worried that the parsnip would be a bit overwhelming. I needn’t have worried though, because the coarsely grated parsnip was nutty and lovely, and not in the least bit overwhelming in flavour. That being said though, for a main meal I do feel the parsnip risotto needs something to give it a little extra dimension. I think next time I might try it with some toasted pinenuts or oven roasted portobello mushrooms on top.
Are you a lover or hater of parsnips? What are your favourite parsnip dishes?
- 1 litre of vegetable stock
- 40g of butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled and coarsely grated
- 6 sage leaves, finely shredded
- 250g of arborio rice
- 250ml of white wine
- 2 tablespoons of mascarpone, plus extra to serve
- 60g of parmesan cheese, grated
- 150g of baby spinach
- Start by placing the vegetable stock in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low to keep warm.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the onion, parsnips and sage and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is softened but not coloured.
- Add the rice and stir well to coat before cooking for a few minutes until they begin to turn translucent.
- Add the white wine (I used a wooded chardonnay) and cook until the wine has all but evaporated.
- Use a ladle to add a spoonful of stock to the risotto and stir until the stock almost disappears before adding the next ladle of stock. Continue until all of the stock is used, or the rice is plump but retains a bit of bite.
- Remove the risotto from the heat and add the grated parmesan, baby spinach and mascarpone and stir to combine. Cover with a lid and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Serve with extra mascarpone and fried or fresh sage leaves.