Roasted Baby Parsnips

Excerpted from Crossroads by Tal Ronnen with Scot Jones. (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2015. Photographs by Lisa Romerein.

Baby parsnips are so tender that you don’t even need to peel them (And if you did, there wouldn’t be much vegetable left!). Parsnips have a sharp flavor reminiscent of parsley’s and become incredibly sweet when roasted. Here they are drizzled with a glaze of maple syrup, a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat, and a splash of vinegar. Chanterelle mushrooms don’t come cheap, but they add a woodsy flavor to this winter dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 24 baby parsnips, trimmed, or 8 regular parsnips, root ends trimmed and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter stick
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 pound chanterelles, wiped clean, quartered if large
  • Finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
  • Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

SERVES: 4

METHOD:

1. To prepare the parsnips: Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. If using larger parsnips, peel and quarter them lengthwise so the pieces will be uniform in size and cook more evenly. Put the parsnips in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, season with kosher salt and black pepper, and toss to coat evenly. Spread the parsnips out in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan from time to time, until tender and slightly charred. Set aside. (The roasted parsnips can be prepared a couple of hours in advance, covered, and held at room temperature. Reheat before serving.)

3. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Combine the maple syrup, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, swirling the pan around occasionally, until the mixture is reduced and syrupy, about 10 minutes. Cover and hold warm.

4. To prepare the mushrooms: Put a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the butter substitute. When the butter substitute has melted, add the shallot and sauté until soft but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the garlic, tossing to combine. Add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until they lose their moisture, soften, and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

5. To serve: Crisscross the parsnips on a platter, overlapping them just slightly. Drizzle with the maple glaze and top with the mushrooms. Scatter chopped parsley on top and season with flaked sea salt.

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