Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The man and I have been busy preparing garden beds for growing vegetables recently. We are attempting this on a larger scale than our previous endeavours into vegetable gardening and have done a fair bit of research along the way. My mother in law lent me her copy of Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion, an incredibly useful resource for growing and utilising various fruits and veg which also includes lots of recipes, mostly vegetable based. In addition to taking notes from the relevant vegetable chapters for gardening tips, I also scanned through the recipes and took photos of several ones that captured my interest.
One of these recipes was Parsnips Bravas. Although I haven't had much experience eating Spanish food, Patatas Bravas is something I've been keen on trying as crispy potatoes paired with a spicy tomato sauce sounds like a dish I would adore. Parsnips are a vegetable I purchase on rare occasions, usually to roast or add to a soup and I can't recall making anything where they have had more of a starring role. I became enamoured with the idea of Parsnips Bravas and decided that Patatas Bravas would have to wait for another day.
It was a simple recipe to put together, the parsnips were cut into sticks and roasted with olive oil and sea salt. While they were in the oven a chunky tomato sauce with onion, garlic, chilli, smoked paprika and saffron simmered away on the stovetop. When the parsnips had finished roasting, it was only a matter of tossing them through the sauce and adjusting the seasoning.
Everyone loved the Parsnips Bravas. The sauce packed enough punch without being overwhelming spicy and I adored the flavour that the saffron stamens brought to the dish. We enjoyed this with a Fry's schnitzel topped with pizza sauce and vegan cheese, roast potatoes and steamed broccoli. This is a recipe I'll definitely be making again when I'm in the mood for eating parsnips.
Parsnips Bravas (Adapted from Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion)
Olive oil spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 birds eye chillies (depending on your chilli tolerance)
200g fresh tomatoes, diced (or use ½ of a 400g tin of diced tomatoes)
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
A pinch of sugar
10 saffron strands
Preheat oven to 200C.
Cut parsnips into bite sited pieces (I cut a couple of sticks from the bottom and quartered the fat tops to make 6 pieces from each parsnip). Line a roasting tray with baking paper and spray lightly with olive oil. Place the parsnips on the tray, spray with additional oil and season with a pinch or two of sea salt. Roast for 45 minutes or until tender and golden, turning the pieces after 25 minutes.
While the parsnips are roasting, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a deep sided frying pan. Fry the onion and garlic over medium heat for 8 minutes or until softened and beginning to colour. Add the chilli, tomatoes, smoked paprika, sugar and saffron and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will be thick and spicy after this time. When the parsnips have finished roasting, toss them through the sauce and season with additional sea salt if required.