Saturday, December 15, 2012

Smashed Pacarsnip

This recipe is what you'd get if you asked Santa for a magical holiday side dish that was all buttery and wonderful on the outside and a secret nutritional powerhouse on the inside. And Santa would say: "You mean, like mashed potatoes except way easier and also more flavorful while eradicating all vestiges of guilt from the post-helping-yourself-to-thirds phase?" And you would say: "Yes. Exactly like that. And I want to eat it while flying through the air on a reindeer."

And then Santa would probably say: "One magical thing at a time, please."

And you would pause, because magical reindeer are awesome, but magical side dishes are pretty awesome too.

Fortunately, now that you have the side dish, there's nothing standing between you and Rudolph, should the opportunity arise.

You want a roughly equal volume of carrots and parsnips for this one, and note that the carrots will cook a little more slowly (so if one is cut a bit smaller than the other, it should be the carrots). Also, I highly recommend saying "pacarsnip" out loud, possibly several times in a row.


Olive oil
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup broth
1 tbsp pastured butter
1 large handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped (3-4 tbsp)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Heat a pot (not nonstick) over medium heat. When hot, add a glug of olive oil. Add the veggies and stir to coat lightly. Cook, stirring every 2 minutes or so, for 5-10 minutes until many of the pieces take on some golden caramelized color on at least one side.

Add the broth, cover, and turn the heat down to medium low. Simmer, stirring well every 5 minutes to circulate which veggies are on the bottom, for 15-20 minutes or until veggies are tender enough to mash. (If the pot dries out, you can add a little more broth; if there's excess at the end, drain it or let it evaporate.)

Add the butter as you start mashing the vegetables with a potato masher. After a minute, turn off the heat. Mash until desired consistency, stir in the parsley, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

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