After our stuffed acorn squash didn’t make the cut for Christmas dinner, we decided to go a different route. I remembered a piece a while back in Bon Appetit on Dan Barbers’ various vegetable steaks, especially the Cauliflower Steaks. When I went poking around the internet, I found a different vegetable steak that sounded a little easier to pull off for a sit-down dinner for eight: Parsnips.
Our first try was rather disastrous: they burned. We decided the sugar called for in the recipe we were using was unnecessary. We also cut down the cook-time by an hour. Voila: success. What we liked most of all was how you could use a fork and knife: there’s something very satisfying about that.
After we had that feather in our cap, we decided to plan the rest of the meal. First, the garnish for the parsnip steaks? Truffles and chives. (In the end and interest of our budget, we went with truffle oil.) Then our side dishes: kale with pine nuts and pine nut butter; cranberry with orange; and maple-roasted squash with chestnuts.
Follow the links above for those recipes.
The parsnip steaks recipe is after the jump.
4 parsnips, about 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter at the top
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Cut a thin slice off two opposite sides of the parsnips so they will lay flat without rolling around. Toss the parsnips in oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit a half sheet pan. Place one piece of parchment inside one sheet pan and center parsnips on the paper, alternating the thick and thin ends. Place the second piece of parchment on top of the parsnips. Place a second half sheet pan on top of the parchment and parsnips. Place two bricks evenly spaced on top of the parsnip sandwich to weight the sheet pans together.
Bake at 350 for about 2 hours or until the parsnips have flattened to a little less than 3/4 of an inch and the bottom is caramelized and brown.
You may serve immediately, or remove parsnips and let cool. If cooking more than 4 parsnips, repeat with remaining parsnips.
To reheat, preheat oven to 350. Place parsnips on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Nice garnishes: Chives and truffle oil.