The parsnip and the princess

March 27, 2009

parsnip1Last weekend my friend, who is publicity shy and thus shall be known only as the Princess of the Parsnip, cooked us a brilliant Middle-Eastern dinner of delicious slow-cooked lamb with pomegranate seeds and yummy various herbage. There was also a divine salad, and a **ing amazing fig cake, among other things, for dessert – but what really got me all aquiver (apart from the scintillating company – a particularly nice bunch of dinner companions) was the most incredibly good dreamy creamy parsnippy mash on which the lamb was served.

At first I thought it was an extra-fluffy baba ganoush or something – had a similar delicately smoky flavour (somehow), and sooo beautifully, lightly creamy. But no, it was the humbly delicious parsnip, whizzed with lots of other decadent goodness.

So, I begged the recipe from the PP, and here it is. Apparently it’s originally from Gourmet Traveller, don’t know when. PP says: “In the cold light of day, I see I forgot to add the olive oil, which would have made it smoother and creamier, I think, but clearly it can be made without that and still be yum.” I second that – can’t think how the oil would improve it, but you never know …

Parsnip cream

  • 4 large parsnips or 8 small, peeled, core removed (if woody) and finely sliced
  • 40g butter
  • 500 ml milk
  • 200 ml sour cream
  • 100 ml olive oil

Melt butter and saute sliced parsnips until tender 12-15 minutes. Add milk and cook for 5 minutes, season to taste. Leave to cool, cool. Blend or process until smooth, add sour cream, blend again. With motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream. Serve warm. Excellent with lamb.

(I used less milk than given here because that seemed like a lot and I cooked it down a fair bit but I guess depends on how thin you want the finished cream to be and how big your parsnips are.)

Many thanks to the PP, and lucky us. If you make it before I get a chance to, tell me how it turns out.


parsnip-creamI just finished making the princess’s parsnip cream, as a side dish for dinner tonight.

Here’s a pic of it.

It is DELICIOUS and I now must put it under lock and key otherwise I shall scoff the lot before the guests arrive (I’m also attempting the umeboshi lamb rack suggested by Hamish under essential ingredients – yikes!) .

Anyhoo – make this. It is really easy and so goooood.


  1. That sounds delicious. I don’t think I’ve cooked parsnips once in my whole culinary life, but I see this will have to change. I have a recipe for a dynamo white bean puree that’s pretty awesome as a mash replacement too, if you’re interested. It’s all zesty with lemon and garlicky goodness, and fantastic with pork rack (for those of us who dig swine).


  2. to serve 4 (with roast pork rack, roasted onions and some blanched greeen beans)

    425g butter beans
    125ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
    1 clove garlic (but come on, you could use 2…)
    2 tbsps plain yoghurt
    1 tbsp lemon juice

    Drain beans, combine in sml saucepan with stock. cover and cook on low heat for 5 mins then combine with garlic, yoghurt and lemon juice – blend all until smooth. May be made ahead and reheated and it’s GOOD. Num num num. Hey, that bowl of parsnip cream looks killer. I’m sure it went over a treat.

  3. Greeen: that would be the greenest of the green beans.

    • this is my next new best friend. Beans, and beans, baby.

  4. […] glaze is made from some gorgeously lustrous Seville marmalade made a couple of months back by the Parsnip Princess, mixed with orange juice, Dijon mustard and white wine […]

  5. […] I found Crossing to Safety, by Wallace Stegner. This novel (introduced to me, incidentally, by the Parsnip Princess) is One of Those Books – it will remain one of my favourites for ever, I think. It’s […]

  6. […] I had to hand my first understudy apron, given me as a kitchen-warming present by the Parsnip Princess last year. This rather glamorous, intricately patterned number is especially good for hiding the […]

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