Where do you stand with parsnips? They seem to divide people, but for me they’re an essential part of Christmas and I absolutely love the sweet taste of a roasted crispy parsnip. In an attempt to win over the parsnip haters I’ve been experimenting with parsnip based dishes. I came across a recipe online for parsnip gnocchi and thought it sounded like a fabulous idea. All the bouncy pillowyness of gnocchi with a sweet parsnip and roasted garlic flavour – yum!
I’m also currently looking for a veggie addition to my Christmas lunch and I think these gnocchi could be what I’m looking for. We’re going to the in-laws for Christmas Day and as the only veggie in the family I end up with some vegetables or I have to sort myself out. It’s not a problem as I love to cook but it does give me yet another thing to think about as I also have to provide all safe snacks, chocolates, puddings and sauces.
I’m always keen that my veggie dish is something the whole family can dip into, as I really hate being the solitary ‘odd’ vegetarian who has their own solo meal whilst everyone else enjoys a communal eating experience (which is what Christmas lunch is all about after all). So my intention is for a veggie addition that everyone can enjoy; however, from experience everyone else will probably stick with their turkey and give my invention a wide berth! What’s your experience? Do you have a family who just want the usual traditional dishes, or one which is happy to try new additions?
The beauty of these gnocchi is that they have the flavours of Christmas in an interesting format, they’re easily reheated and they also make a pretty good nibble when bunked in a dip. They also went down well with the parsnip hating younger members of the family, and that’s no mean feat!
Roasted Parsnip and Garlic Gnocchi
(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as an addition to a roast meal
1 baking potato
4 medium parsnips
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
75g OO flour
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
A sprinkle of Herbs de Provence or thyme
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade
- Peel and Chop the potatoes and parsnips into even sizes large pieces
- Place in a roasting tin with the unpeeled garlic. Drizzle with oil and season. Roast for 30-40 minutes until soft and starting to turn golden. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins and add to the roasted veg.
- Cool and then blitz the veg and garlic in a food processor. Add the flour, nutritional yeast, herbs and seasoning and pulse until it becomes a dough. Wrap in cling film and leave to relax for a while.
- Roll into 4 sausages, each about 1cm thick. Cut into 2 cm slices, gently squeezing to give a pillowy shape
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and in batches cook the gnocchi for 2-3 minutes until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
- Heat another 1tbsp oil in a frying pan and fry the gnocchi until golden and crispy on all sides.
- Serve drizzled with oil.
- To reheat just pop in a hot pan to warm through.