Years ago, my friend Susan gave us the most delicious parsnip dish to go with a Sunday roast. It's Jane Grigson, she said airily, as good English cooks often do. I went home and consulted JG's Vegetable Book; Susan's creamed parsnip has been a family favourite ever since. And no wonder: parsnips, butter, cream. The parboiled parsnips are turned in butter over a very slow heat, and when they've absorbed the butteriness - in other words cooked down to a mush - you add a little cream, perhaps some nutmeg or a few chopped herbs.
I haven't cooked this for three years, and I still miss it. So yesterday, I thought I'd try a healthy version ... amazingly, I got it right first time: this will be on our table at least once a week this winter.
0% fromage frais or Greek yoghurt
Trim the parsnips, and core them if necessary (the core doesn't normally turn woody until much later in the season). Grate them - I did this instantly in the Magimix, but otherwise a Microplane would make short work of it. Put them in a shallow pan and sprinkle on a little olive oil. Mix it in with your hands. Cook to a mush on a very slow heat - my panful of five parsnips took about 45 minutes. Stir in a little fromage frais or yoghurt.
This is a rare dish I'd need to season with salt - because I've always made it with salted butter.
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