17. November 2006

the parsnip, the ancient vegetable

well, you must be getting tired of me rambling on about newly discovered food. but i have another one for you. i am starting to think that my diet was very dull and narrow minded before i ordered this farm box, because now i discover something new to feast on every week. amazing.

maybe i am just such a creature of habit and i only ate what i always knew. there even is a saying here in austria about the stubborn breed of humans north of the danube: "was der bauer nicht kennt, ißt er nicht" -"the farmer does not eat what he doesn't know".

totally true.

we tend to blame this on the granite and its massive, hard and tough geological features north of the danube and the resulting hardship for local agriculture.

before i get off the point again i like to draw your attention to the veggie of the week: the parsnip! apperently this veggie was quite popular in mediaeval europe until the potato appeared. the parsnip then fell completely into oblivion. time for some research, don't you think? and once again i turn to wikipedia:

"The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a root vegetable related to the carrot. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler and have a stronger flavor. Like carrots, parsnips are native to Eurasia and have been eaten there since ancient times. Until the potato arrived from the New World, its place in dishes was occupied by the parsnip. Parsnips can be boiled, roasted or used in stews, soups and casseroles."

(image from wikipedia)

so again i have to dive into the depths of the internet to find a decent recipe. i have quite some experience with root veggies, so making something cool should not be a problem. but then again, i wanted to experience the taste of the parsnip as pure as possible. so i went for an easy ...
parsnip au gratin (inspired by this recipe of stuffed parsnip on chefkoch.de)

275 g parsnip
1 carrot
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
40 g breadcrumbs
  1. clean and peel parsnip
  2. cut off four large discs (about 3 centimeters) from the thicker end of the veggie and throw the rest of the root into a food processor
  3. cut the discs into chunks and also cut the carrot into smaller discs
  4. place in a casserole
  5. finely chop onion and garlic
  6. in a pan, heat some butter and gently fry onion, garlic and the rest of the parsnip.
  7. after about 5 minutes add breadcrumbs and continue to fry the mixture.
  8. spoon on top of the carrot and parsnip chunks, put a few knobs of butter on top and grill at 200°C for about 30 minutes
pastinaken au gratin pastinaken au gratin
this can be a side dish, but for me it was the veggie-main course of my late lunch. i ate it with a colorful mix of corn salad and radiccio. the gratin-top of the dish might also make a good stuffing for meat. i have to try that out some time.

pastinaken au gratin
okay, there is not much of the "au gratin" left when you ladle it onto the plate, but: oh my god! the taste was just perfect! hearty and rich, very nuttily and a little like parsley, a little like carrot ... it might become a staple food in my kitchen.

pastinaken au gratin

1 Kommentar:

Mike hat gesagt…

The best photos I've seen posted on any food blog site all week. Well done.