First let's talk about parsnips. We're into the full swing of autumn, and it's due time for us to start embracing the lovely fall produce. Parsnips are root vegetables that are easily overlooked, even though our grandmothers put them in just about every soup or stew we had growing up. They look like white carrots, and are beautifully displayed below.
I came up with this recipe while trying to keep it colorful, and abundant in flavor. The inspiration for the beet horseradish really came from my Jewish roots (and it looks pretty), whereas the scallion oil cuts through the creaminess of the puree.
The recipe is very easy and can be done vegan as well.
1T grassfed butter (unsalted), or EVOO
1t sea or kosher salt
1C vegetable stock, plus more if needed
1 small beet
approximately 1/2c of scallions
Trim the ends off of the parsnips and discard. Chop the thicker part of the parsnips in 1 inch chunks, and then quarter them. The thinner parts of the parsnips can be chopped into 1-2 inch pieces. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and toss in the butter or EVOO. Add the parsnip cover for 5-7 minutes, lightly browning them (be careful not to burn them). Check to see if the the parsnips are done by piercing the thickest piece with a fork or knife. If it is easily pierced, then you can remove them from the heat, otherwise, give a good stir and place back on the heat for another 3-5 minutes. When all parsnip is softened enough, place in a food processor with veggie stock, pulsing until the puree is evenly consistent.
For the horseradish, trim one side of the beet and grate 1 teaspoon of it on the finest hole of your grater. Combine beet with horseradish, making sure to firmly press the beet juice into the horseradish, so that it will absorb the color.
For the scallion oil, feel free to chop or leave the the scallions whole. Toss them in a blender with EVOO and pulse on high until it becomes completely liquid. Take a large piece of cheesecloth and pass the scallion oil through it, being gentle so that the pulp does not sneak through. If cheesecloth isn't handy, a finely slotted spoon could be used to remove as much pulp as possible.
Build this delicious side however you want. I like to arrange it as pictured above, with the puree as a base, topped with a dollop of horseradish, and a drizzle of oil!