Braised Carrots and Parsnips – Fall and Winter Comfort Food
So unexpected. A friend leaving town for the week offered me her CSA box. What fun. Always such a pleasant surprise to open the box. This box, as it’s January in Montana, included among the leafy greens and purple cabbage a pound of huge carrots and half a pound of parsnips. Wanting to make something warming and easy to prepare I started looking through a few cookbooks. Braised Carrots and Parsnips from my old volume of Joy of Cooking caught my eye. Their recipe called for only a few ingredients and was basically hands off.
Simple comfort food
With quality ingredients, simply cooked is often best. So true with these Braised Carrots and Parsnips. Cooked simply in vegetable stock, dotted with butter, sprinkled with salt, and garnished with fresh parsley and the thinly sliced greens from a scallion. To brighten the flavor a bit more, I drizzled a few drops of newly made Apple Cider Vinaigrette over and around the vegetables.
Parsnips bring back memories
I have fond childhood memories of parsnips. They were a comfort food relegated to cold, rainy days. Those wintry Southern California days were the days my mother, a very good cook, would often make beef stew. Besides onions, carrots and celery, she always included parsnips.
After a short walk home from school, we’d open the front door to the comforting aroma of my mother’s stew. It would fill and warm us inside and out. After drying off and changing clothes we would sit down for dinner. I would always look for those chunks of parsnips in my bowl. Their natural sweetness was such a welcome and unexpected contrast to the savoriness of everything else.
Braised Carrots and Parsnips Simply Cooked
in Vegetable Stock, Butter and Salt
When starting with delicious ingredients, simply cooked is often best.
So true with Braised Carrots and Parsnips. It’s very easy to eat the entire pound and a half of tender, tasty and naturally sweet vegetables as a main dish or as a side. For an even brighter taste, consider drizzling the Braised Carrots and Parsnips with a little Apple Cider Vinaigrette.
Inspired and adapted from a recipe in Joy of Cooking.
Makes 2-6 servings Printer-Friendly Recipe
Active time 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour and 10 minutes
1 pound carrots, scrubbed clean and peeled if not organic
8 ounces parsnips, scrubbed clean and peeled if not organic
¾ cup unseasoned or low sodium vegetable stock or water
¼ teaspoon salt (or ½ teaspoon salt with unseasoned stock or water)
2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces
1-2 tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
Thinly sliced greens from 1 scallion
Optional: ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut both the carrots and parsnips in half lengthwise. Depending on their size, cut each half into either 2-4 wedges. Cut the wedges 1 ½ inches long.
- Transfer the wedges into a 2-quart ceramic/porcelain baking dish. Toss them with the salt and stock or water. Dot with the butter.
- Tightly seal the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes.
- Raise the heat to 425 degrees. Remove the baking dish from the oven and remove the foil. Use a silicone spatula to toss the carrots and parsnips in the liquid in the dish. Return the baking dish to the oven to bake for another 15 minutes.
- Change the heat to high broil. Place the baking dish about 6 inches from the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes to color the vegetables.
- Serve Braised Carrots and Parsnips garnished with chopped parsley and thinly sliced scallion greens. Optionally drizzle with a little Apple Cider Vinaigrette.