Thursday, October 28, 2010

Festive veggies

Here's a couple of very simple but delicious twists on vegetables to add a little variety to that Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

These are both "seat of the pants" recipes, so quantities are expressed with cheerful disregard for cook-book precision.

Parsnips in creamy horseradish


Horseradish sauce - mild, medium, or strong according to your taste
Whipping cream
Grated parmesan


Whatever quantity of parsnips you want to serve. Depends on number of people, and what other veggies you are serving, and how much you like parsnips.

Equal quantities of horseradish sauce and cream, enough altogether to coat the parsnips. If I'm making a small dish for 2 or 3 people I usually use about half of a small (125ml) jar of horseradish.

A generous sprinkling of parmesan.


Peel and cut the parsnips into pieces. I usually cut them lengthwise into finger-sized pieces.

Place into salted water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Drain and place into a small baking dish. Mix the horseradish and cream and pour over the parsnips. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Put in the oven at 350 F for half an hour. The cream should be bubbling and the cheese starting to brown.

Sprouts with mushrooms


Flaked almonds
Button mushrooms - either white or chestnut
Generous knob of butter


Equal quantities of sprouts and mushrooms. Depending on the size of the mushrooms, use them whole, halved, or quartered. The pieces should be about the same size as the sprouts.

Enough almonds to sprinkle over the top.


Fry the almonds in a little butter until they start to brown.

Remove the almonds from the pan and set aside.

Add more butter to the pan and fry the mushrooms.

Meanwhile, boil and simmer the sprouts in salted water for about 5 minutes. They should be just about cooked and still crisp. I think sprouts get a bad rap mostly because people overcook them. A properly-cooked sprout should never be soggy!

Drain the sprouts and add them to the mushrooms. Stir until the sprouts are coated in the butter and juices.

Serve sprinkled with the fried almonds.


  1. What do parsnips be? I have never had them before. If they are anything like potatoes I will love them. I like "cheerful disregard" a lot! Can I borrow that phrase? Please? I'll make a whole post entitled 'cheerful disregard' and I'll give you the credit ok?

  2. Hi Melissa, that's the whole idea ;)

    Sam, parsnips are a root vegetable. They look like carrots but are cream in colour and have their own unique flavour. I realised when I saw this comment that maybe they aren't so common down in the US. They do grow wild (inedible) but not sure about the cultivated variety.

    Please feel free to borrow the phrase. I've no idea where I got it from, it's been kicking around the dusty attic of my mind for many years and deserves a new lease of life.

  3. Thank you Botanist for explaining that to me-I don't think parsnips are too common here- I have never seen one in person-but I do love my root vegetables so I will have to try them.
    P.S.-I love that phrase-thanks for giving me permission to use it-if one is going to disregard something they should most definitely do it cheerfully! LOL

  4. Sounds yummy! I love your new art by-the-way. It may be old since I've been out of the loop for so long, but it's new to me.

  5. Stella, you are right in many ways. The art is old, in that I painted it several years ago, but it is new to this blog within the last week so you surfaced at just the right time. Glad you like it!

  6. Hmm, the sprouts with mushrooms looks like it would taste really good.

  7. Yes, Fickle Cattle, it's a great variation on plain old sprouts, and makes this a little bit special to serve on special occasions.


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