The other day we found fresh locally grown winter spinach and parsnips at our local market.  Although our weather during this time of year can be quite cold, we are still able to grow certain vegetables in different regions.
Parsnips seem to be such an underrated vegetable.  It seems that people either love them or hate them.  If you are the latter, this recipe might change your mind.  By pan sauteing them, then incorporating them into a gratin, the sweetness of this vegetable was unbelievable.  Mixed with fresh spinach and a sage sauce - so so good!  We had this with simple seasoned roasted chicken and mashed potatoes.  A lovely side dish to any main meal.
2 cups thinly sliced parsnips
1 big bunch of fresh spinach, washed and ends trimmed (about 3 cups)
2-5 Tblsp. butter (divided)
2 shallots, sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 big Tblsp. minced fresh sage
1 tsp. dried mustard
good pinch of nutmeg
3 big Tblsp. Sweet Rice Flour
1 cup of chicken stock
1 big Tblsp. organic plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese
Thinly slice the parsnips, at the thick end slice in half then thinly slice.
Add 2 Tblsp. butter to a frying pan on medium heat and add in the parsnips.  Season with salt and pepper and saute about 10 minutes until they get golden in color.
Then remove to a bowl.
Turn the heat down to low medium and add in the sliced shallots, garlic and sage, sauteing another 3-4 minutes.  Then add in the fresh washed spinach and saute a couple of minutes until wilted.

Add the spinach mixture to the parsnips tossing to combine.  Butter an 8 inch glass casserole dish and transfer the parsnip/spinach mix to the dish.
Add the remaining 2-3 Tblsps. of butter to the pan and keep on a low medium heat.  Once melted add in the pinch of nutmeg and dried mustard whisking well.  To the pan sprinkle in the sweet rice flour and whisk well 3-5 minutes.  Slowly pour in the chicken stock, keep whisking, until a nice thickened consistency is achieved.  (not too thick)  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat, and add in the fresh yogurt, whisking well.  Check for seasonings.  Pour over the parsnip/spinach mixture to cover.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle fresh grated Parmesan cheese over top and bake uncovered for 40- 45 minutes.
Serve with any main dish....enjoy!

Ina Gawne


  1. What a savoury & tasty alternative parsnip & spinach dish! I have never seen parsnips so beautifully combined with spinach & all locally grown? Yes, please!
    This dish sings to me!

  2. I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of this! I love parsnips. It must be getting near to Autumn here - though you'd never guess from the temperatures - because we are craving food like this. I'll make it at the weekend. Thanks Ina. XO

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February 11, 2013