These baked parsnips are creamy, tender and easy to prepare.
Braising has a way of bringing out the best in certain vegetables. Take parsnips, for example; yes, they’re wonderful roasted in a hot oven where they get all crispy on the outside, but braising them in the oven gives them a tender, creamy quality through and through that’s equally glorious.
Yes, I said oven; these parsnips are oven-braised which means they practically take care of themselves while you carry on with the rest of the meal.
I think it’s one of the nicest ways to serve parsnips, not to mention it's pretty convenient around the holidays when you’ve got the oven going practically 24/7 anyhow.
What do parsnips taste like?
Parsnips don't often get much love. Perhaps they're just overlooked because they are unfamiliar. While parsnip may look like a white carrot, the taste is quite different.
If you're not familiar with this root vegetable, it's sweet and starchy with an earthy, nutty flavor and makes a nice alternative to carrots or potatoes. You’ll want to choose ones that are slender and not too large as they tend to have a woody core.
How to prepare parsnips:
- It takes just a few minutes to get everything ready to go into the pan before you pop it into the oven; the only real work is peeling them and cutting them into equal-sized pieces so they’ll cook evenly.
- A few sprigs of thyme, a pinch of salt and pepper, a swig of good olive oil, enough water to braise and they’re ready to go in the oven.
The parsnips take on a sweet, nutty intensity as they braise in the fragrant olive oil and thyme mixture. Once they’re tender throughout I add a few spoonfuls of yogurt and a handful of shredded sheep’s milk cheese to create a creamy sauce with a little tang and extra nutty, salty quality.
I dare you to make these and not be tempted to finish them all straight out of the pan. I’ve never managed to get them to table without snagging at least a few bites first!
More root vegetable sides:
A creamy side of oven-baked parsnips with pecorino and thyme.
- 1 ½ pounds/670g thin parsnips, trimmed and peeled
- 1 Tablespoon/15ml extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup/78ml of filtered water
- The leaves from about 15-20 sprigs of fresh thyme
- ¾ teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup/56g whole milk yogurt (I like a sheep’s milk yogurt here.)
- ¼ cup/25g Pecorino (or another hard salty sheep’s milk cheese like Manchego), finely grated
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice the parsnips in half and then again in quarters lengthwise to make batons. (Trim the core if the centers are particularly woody.)
- Place the cut parsnips in a shallow baking dish that’s large enough for the vegetables to lie in about one layer. Add the olive oil, water thyme, salt, and black pepper and toss to combine.
- Cover tightly with a lid or foil. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes until the parsnips are very tender.
- Remove from oven, uncover and let cool for a minute or so before stirring in the yogurt and season again to taste if desired. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve immediately with a few extra thyme leaves on top.
Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 6mgSodium: 346mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 4g
Nutritional information for recipes contained on this website, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. are only estimates and are not guaranteed to be accurate.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.