Here’s a super simple side dish that ended up being one of the big winners from our Friendsgiving this year. I love mashed potatoes! I mean, what’s not to love? That classic dish is something I’m always interested in making for a crowd, and we even make it as part of dinner at our house fairly often for just me and Trey.
But I decided to change things up a bit by incorporating a different root veggie into the mix.
You might be thinking, “What the heck is a parsnip?” Well, there’s tons more information online, but basically they look a lot like a white carrot, and they taste like a slightly more savory carrot as well. What I loved about cooking with them in this recipe is they added a slightly sweet taste plus just more complexity to the mashed potatoes I served. Which I thought went great with the mushroom gravy I made to go with this. I basically used this mushroom gravy recipe I shared some time ago, but substituted the butter for a nondairy butter and used all vegetable stock in place of the milk (so it was darker and a bit richer in flavor).
3 large russet potatoes
4 medium parsnips
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup nondairy butter
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon chopped chives or green onions
salt and pepper
Peel the potatoes and parsnips and give them a rough chop. The pieces do not need to be small, bigger than bite size is OK, but do try to keep them somewhat uniform in size. The potato pieces should all be a similar size, and the parsnips don’t have to be a similar size to each other.
Combine the pieces in a large pot with the parsnips on bottom, along with the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and then reduce the heat to high simmer. Cook for 45 minutes or until you can easily mash a parsnip piece with the side of a wooden spoon.
Add the butter to the pot and use a potato masher to mash everything well. Then stir in the garlic and chives along with some salt and pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper to your liking.
I really only have one note about this recipe, and that is to keep in mind that parsnips (like carrots) will not cook/soften quite as quickly as russet potatoes. So that’s why it’s good to cut them into smaller pieces than the potatoes and also to keep them on bottom as they cook. You also want to make sure to test a parsnip piece to make sure everything has softened enough, because if you test a potato piece, it’s possible it could be done before the parsnips, and then you’ll begin mashing and end up with a few small bits of still-hard parsnips. This is the main thing I learned from my practice run. 🙂 And we’re aiming for super smooth and creamy mashed veggies here, so just keep this in mind. Happy cooking! xo. Emma
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.