I’ve been meaning to work with parsnip. Sort of.
Because I see it all the time at the markets, and I know how it tastes
and the array of dishes one can make with it…
But I feel like it it often gets pushed aside.
Is it the name? Pars. Nip. Par. Snip.
To me, parsnip is like… if a potato and a carrot had a baby.
A nice, sweet, but awkward child that nobody really talks to.
Probably because its name is Parsnip.
(If I ever have a kid, its name will be Parsnip.)
And little Parsnip will make great gnocchi.
Parsnip Gnocchi with Caramelized Onions & Gorgonzola
This recipe is based on my Plantain Gnocchi, but I basically swapped out the plantain for parsnip. Parsnip yields a slightly sweeter flavor and pairs nicely with the onions and tangy Gorgonzola. You can also try folding in a bit of the cheese into the gnocchi dough… whoa… Also, when I made this, I was using half the ingredients as listed. The amount I made could feed two, so these quantities should be good for four peeps.
4 large parsnip roots, peeled and cut into equal sizes
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups flour*
optional: fresh or dried herbs of your choice (I used chopped fresh sage)
salt and pepper to taste
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup or more of crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
*I used amaranth flour to make a gluten-free version, just because. I think the lack of gluten also made these gnocchi really tender, even after they’ve been refrigerated (which is good if you like eating leftovers straight from the fridge). Using wheat flour will likely make the texture a little more firm, but I don’t imagine in a bad way, since that’s what is traditionally used in gnocchi.
1) Steam or roast the parsnip until tender. I roasted mine (350°F for about an hour, coated in olive oil, salt and pepper) because I have an obsession with roasting veggies, apparently. Steaming might make them easier to puree later on though.
2) Once cool enough to handle, puree the parsnip in a food processor, using the eggs (and scraping down occasionally) to help achieve a smooth consistency. I also required a few tablespoons of water, FYI. Transfer the puree to a medium bowl, and gradually combine with the flour, until you have a dough that is easy to handle but still a bit sticky (if you need more flour, add a tablespoon or two at a time). Fold in the salt, pepper, and herbs if using. Set dough aside to rest.
3) Caramelize the onion by cooking over medium-low heat in a bit of olive oil. Stir frequently, until the onion is evenly browned and smells like angel sweat. Remove from heat and set aside.
4) Shape your gnocchi. Flour your hands and your counter top, or a large cutting board. As you can see, I did thumbprints (again). You can also roll the dough into a snake and just cut equal-sized pieces from that, or if you have any special tools or techniques, go for it. Once all the dough is shaped, bring a pot of water to a gentle boil. In small batches, lower the gnocchi into the water, and once they float to the top, take them out and set aside. Repeat until all the gnocchi is cooked.
5) Combine the gnocchi with the caramelized onion, reheating if necessary on low. Then transfer to a bowl and toss with the Gorgonzola. Enjoy while thinking about which vegetable you would name your child after. I also may consider Broccoli…