Joy gave me a beautiful cookbook for Christmas – A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis. It’s a cookbook comprised of twenty-four seasonally inspired menus with recipes meant to be served family style. David Tanis is the head chef at Chez Panisse and spends half his time hosting a private dining club in a 17th century Paris apartment. (Nice! – I guess he is qualified to write a cookbook.)
I’ve been drooling over the menus in A Platter of Figs for months and dreaming about throwing my own amazing dinner party. Too bad our furniture is outside in the POD!
Here is the early Spring menu from the book I am dying to try:
Spinach Cake with Herb Salad, Mustard Rabbit in the Oven, Parsnips Epiphany-Style, and Apple Tart.
I love rabbit, the photo of the spinach cake looks amazing, I know apple tarts are a sure thing, but what about those parsnips? Hmmm. Interesting.
Since David’s parsnip recipe only calls for four ingredients and my kitchen is now somewhat accessible, I decided to give the parsnips a try. Wow! What a great surprise. They were so much better than I had imagined. I honestly think these might become a new favorite!
Oven roasted parnsips are sweet and rich and interesting. They are high in sugar, so they caramelize well. The flavor? Think butternut squash with a kick. Really, really delicious – In a simple root-vegetable kind of way.
Here is a tip I learned from David Tanis – be sure to cut out the center core from each parsnip (even from the small ones) before cooking. The core of a parsnip is tough and does not soften easily during cooking. Removing the core makes the texture of a cooked parsnip much more enjoyable.
Oven Roasted Parsnip Fries would make an excellent side for roasted meat, rabbit, duck, or chicken. I actually ate them a la carte for lunch. Delicious!
- Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Peel the parsnips and cut them lengthwise into 4 pieces. Use a paring knife to carefully cut out the hard center core from each piece. Discard the cores.
- Trim the parsnips into 3 inch pieces and place into a bowl.
- Toss the parsnips with enough olive oil to lightly coat and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Spread out the parnsips and roast them for about 45 minutes until they are fork tender and lightly caramelized.
- These can be cooked in advance and reheated later for serving.