Recipes & Photography: Amber Bremner

Of all the underrated root vegetables, parsnip would be my favourite. Earthy and sweet, parsnip lends itself well to roasting and is at its best with toasty caramelised edges. A simple lick of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt is all that’s strictly necessary, but it’s very easy to make parsnips a real hero dish by adding some extra flavours to the roasting pan, serving them with a flavoursome aioli and some tasty morsels to garnish. These three flavour options are all easy to make and incredibly delicious, the only hard part is deciding which one is the best. Make your own aquafaba aioli with this recipe, or use store bought to save time.

ROASTED PARSNIPS

Parsnips shrink a bit during cooking (and disappear from the table very quickly), so I’m generous with the amount I cook. One kilogram of parsnips will serve four people as a generous snack or side dish. Mix your choice of flavour rub ingredients together in a small bowl before you get started, and stir a flavour add-in through your aioli to match. White (or shiro) miso paste and fried shallots are easily available from Asian supermarkets.

1kg parsnips (6–7)
flavour rub
aioli
toppings

Preheat oven to 200°C fan bake. Peel and cut parsnips into even sized batons and put them into a large mixing bowl. Add in your choice of flavour rub and use your hands to rub it all over the parsnips, ensuring every piece is coated.

Tip the parsnips onto a lined baking tray and roast for 20–25 minutes, turning half way through cooking time. The parsnips are done when they are tender, golden and a little scorched in places.

Serve roasted parsnips drizzled with the matching aioli, and a generous scatter of toppings.

SAGE AND GARLIC

Flavour rub
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
12 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
½ tsp salt

Aioli
½ cup plain garlic aioli

Toppings
½ cup hazelnuts, toasted at 200°C for 7 minutes, skins removed and roughly chopped
fresh sage leaves, fried in olive oil until crisp (as many as you like)

MISO SESAME

Flavour rub
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp white miso paste
1 tbsp honey, melted if necessary (substitute with brown rice syrup if vegan)
1½ tsp sesame oil

Aioli
½ cup plain garlic aioli
Add in 1–2 tsp (to taste) soy sauce, or tamari if gluten free

Toppings
1 tbsp sesame seeds, white, black or both
1–2 spring onions, green parts thinly sliced

SMOKEY MAPLE

Flavour rub
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp salt
pinch of cayenne pepper (or more if you like a bit of heat)

Aioli
½ cup plain garlic aioli
add in ½ to 1 tsp (to taste) smoked paprika

Toppings
1–2 tbsp fried shallots (pictured) or
1–2 tbsp toasted coconut flakes (or coconut ‘bacon’—look for a recipe online)

AQUAFABA AIOLI

Aquafaba, or the liquid from a can of chickpeas, has mysterious egg-like qualities and can be used instead of eggs in many recipes. It works a treat to make home-made vegan mayonnaise or aioli using the traditional method, and it’s pretty satisfying to use something that would otherwise be tipped down the drain. Use a neutral flavoured oil like grape seed oil (my preference), rice bran oil or light olive oil.

3 tbsp aquafaba
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ cup oil

Put the aquafaba, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic and salt into a tall, narrow jar or container (the narrow mixing jar that comes with a stick blender is ideal).

Using a stick blender, blend briefly to incorporate everything. Blending the whole time, start slowly (very slowly) drizzling in the oil. Like magic, the mixture will thicken and become glossy.

Taste and adjust salt, mustard or lemon juice to please your tastebuds. Store in the fridge for up to three days.

Amber Bremner
Quite Good Food
www.quitegoodfood.co.nz
Amber Bremner is the author of popular plant based food blog Quite Good Food. A champion for cooking and eating food that makes you feel good, she believes small changes in the way we approach food have the power to make a difference.

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