PARSNIP PUREE with APPLE & SUNCHOKES

This parsnip puree is the first recipe in a series of posts that will feature the food served at The Farmstead Supper– a pop up farm dinner movement that I was a part of creating together with our friends Kyle and Morgan– an urban farmsteading couple from East Sacramento.

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One of our goals for The Farmstead Supper is to showcase less common and unfamiliar seasonal produce. With our first event taking place in the fall, we knew that we needed to incorporate something warm and cozy into the meal. The first side dish we decided on was this parsnip puree. Parsnips look like big white carrots, but have their own unique flavor profile: sweet, earthy and a bit nutty- they are starchy enough to be the perfect base for a puree. Sunchokes from Kyle & Morgan’s garden were an immediate inspiration: also known as Jerusalem artichokes, sunchokes are the tuber of a native North American sunflower. They have a delicate artichoke-like flavor and added a nice homegrown touch to this recipe.  Finally, we decided to add some of the golden delicious apples that we all harvested together, which perfectly complimented the slight sweetness of the parsnips.

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The parsnips, apples and sunchokes get gently simmered in milk along with some crushed whole garlic cloves, thyme and bay leaves. Once the mixture is soft, it gets blended until smooth and velvety. My favorite tool for getting purees perfectly smooth is a Vitamix, but a stick blender or food processor can be used instead.

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A delicious accompaniment to our fall inspired meal, this parsnip puree with apple and sunchokes makes for a unique alternative to mashed potatoes that would fit beautifully at your Thanksgiving or holiday table.

PARSNIP, APPLE and SUNCHOKE PUREE

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 parsnips, peeled & chopped into 1" cubes
  • 2 large golden delicious apples (we used 3 small here)- peeled, cored & chopped into 1" cubes
  • 12 ounces sunchokes- peeled & chopped into 1" cubes
  • 2 cups whole milk (unsweetened almond milk for non-dairy option)
  • 2 large cloves garlic (we used 3 medium-small ones here)- peeled & slightly crushed
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Add parsnips, apples, sunchokes, milk, garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves & a couple pinches of salt to a medium pot & bring to a simmer. Cover pot and reduce heat to low- simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring here and there, until contents are soft.
  • Spoon contents into a high speed blender or food processor, excluding the thyme sprigs, bay leaves & excess milk. Add butter & blend on high, adding some of the excess milk 1 tablespoon at a time to achieve the right consistency, as necessary.
  • Once the puree is perfectly smooth, taste and adjust seasoning with salt

Notes

If you plan to make the puree ahead of time, reheat on the stove top over low heat, stirring often to avoid the puree from burning at the bottom of the pan

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