Garlic Whipped Parsnips

(jump to recipe)

As someone who routinely dreams of sleeping on a pillow made of mashed potatoes, the carbs add up. I think they add up even if I’m innocently thinking about potatoes; one doesn’t even need consume them.

So one must look for alternatives that are lower in carbohydrates, still good with respect to fiber, and yet don’t taste like pressed sawdust. Parsnips happen to live in just that precise neighborhood, and in the winter months, are just begging to be enlisted to be whipped into perfection. Lower in calories, higher in fiber, a slightly sweet taste – if I wasn’t a potato-head I would switch to them permanently. Just kidding!

One of the other routine offenders in the mashed potatoes department is the copious amounts of butter and dairy in general, and that seems to be an ongoing battle. Although with the discovery of brands such as WayFare and Country Crock, its most certainly (and happily!) proving to be a downhill one.

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The new line of plant-based, dairy-free butters from Country Crock come in 3 flavors – olive oil, avocado oil and almond oil. Figured the Olive oil one would go best with cooking applications. The consistency is exactly like regular, dairy-ful butter though so I’m sure it’ll work in baking applications as well!

Without further ado, let us talk about these whipped parsnips. I used the food processor to make life easier to achieve the fluffy, whipped consistency I wanted, because lets face it, whipped carbs are rarely the centerpiece of the meal (although they should be), and thus, should require proportionate effort. This way you can focus on your short ribs, or lamb chops, or grilled sausages, what have you.

Secondly, instead of the usual warmed butter+milk combination, I went with dairy-free butter and olive oil, to keep things dairy free. The food processor action takes care of the consistency problem that the absence of milk presents.

This is an awfully simple “recipe”; I only created a blog post out of it to talk about parsnips.

We start with the ingredients, of which there are just a few.

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Sea salt, black pepper, garlic, parsnips, butter and olive oil

Prep the parsnips by peeling and cutting into 1-inch chunks (so they’ll cook faster). If some of the stems/cores are too tough, try to cut them out. Place them in a pan with tap water and some salt, and bring to a boil.

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I like to place them in a sieve or colander and then place it in the pot of water; makes it easier to pick things out if overcooking, and also preserve the cooking water for using elsewhere (whenever applicable)

Reduce to simmer and cook through for another 15 minutes until completely tender.

Meanwhile, infuse the butter and oil with garlic by warming it together in a small saucepan or butter warmer.

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Thinly sliced garlic, butter and olive oil

Add it along with the cooked parsnips to a food processor and process on high speed for about 2 minutes. Stream in the remaining olive oil to make the mixture fluffier.

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Before: Cooked parsnips, garlic infused butter+oil, salt, pepper
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After processing for 1-1 1/2 minutes

That is it! Serve warm as is, with remaining butter and garnish with flecks of something green and fresh.

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Garlic whipped parsnips with (dairy-free) butter and chopped cilantro

Sometimes I try to make this into a meal, by topping it with crumbled sausage, or a dollop of pesto. It tastes really good with a soft-smashed 5 1/2 minute egg and some extra freshly ground black pepper (not pictured).

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Left: topped with crumbled Sicilian chicken sausage; Right: topped with vegan cilantro pesto 
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With the garlicky pesto mixed in.

Also good with chicken cutlets and grilled meats and chops! Anything you would eat mashed potatoes with, to sum it up.

• Recipe •

Garlic Whipped Parsnips
Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main (with other toppings)

1 pound or roughly 500 grams turnips, scrubbed, peeled, then cut into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided (or to taste)
3 tablespoons unsalted, dairy-free or plant-based butter, such as WayFare, Country Crock, divided
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large or 3 medium cloves of garlic, peeled, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon or to taste, freshly ground black pepper

To garnish
Finely chopped cilantro, parsley or chives

Place parsnips in a medium saucepan with enough tap water to cover them, and add a teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until parsnips are fork tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan or frying pan, place sliced 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons olive oil and thinly sliced garlic. Cook on a low flame until butter starts to foam (but not brown), take off the heat and set aside.

Once parsnips are fork tender, drain and transfer to the work bowl of a food processor.

Add garlic cooked in butter and oil, remaining sea salt (or to taste), freshly ground black pepper, and blend on high speed until smooth. With the food processor running, stream in 2 tablespoons of olive oil through the chute and process until completely whipped and fluffy. Adjust salt and pepper.

Serve with chopped herbs and remaining tablespoon of butter. Add additional butter or olive oil as desired.

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