The parsnip is one of the most underrated vegetables around. Looking like fat, white carrots, this humble root vegetable is far more delicious and versatile. Sweet, slightly peppery, and milder than root veggies like turnips, the parsnip is a good addition to any plate. Tonight we’re doing them in a classic style: mashed. These mashed parsnips are simple and quick, and they make a nice change from potatoes.
In addition to the parsnips, we’ve done a bit of medium-rare seared sashimi-grade tuna along with some baby broccoli that we steamed and then sauteed with a little soy sauce. The result is a light, colorful plate that hits all the notes we want from a balanced meal — savory, sweet, earthy, and bright in flavors; earthy, unctuous, and slightly grassy for mouthfeel. And the whole meal didn’t take longer than a half hour to make.
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced into small pieces
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup milk (or cream)
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a kettle of salted water to the boil and add the parsnips, boiling until tender. To keep your finished product warmer, have the butter at room temperature, and heat your milk in the microwave until warm. Drain the parsnips and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the milk, butter, parsley, salt and pepper, and tarragon. Mash with a potato masher, fork, or use a hand mixer until the parsnips have reached your desired consistency. Because they are more fibrous than potatoes, you probably won’t get them perfectly creamy, but I kind of like mine to retain some texture anyway. Serve immediately.
For the tuna, just salt and pepper on both sides, then sear in a hot cast iron pan for 3 minutes or so each side. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. For the broccoli, steam in the microwave (which really works best) for 3 minutes, then saute with a healthy dollop of olive oil and soy sauce until the soy sauce clings to the vegetables. Slice the tuna thin and serve. Happy cooking!