Creamed Spinach and Parsnips

I found this recipe in the November 2008 issue of Food and Wine.  I didn’t make it until Thanksgiving 2009 but, it’s a favorite dish on our sideboard each Thanksgiving day.   This is the first recipe I ever made with parsnips in it and now I am a huge fan.  Spinach and parsnips are a dynamic duo.   The recipe says you can make it up to three days in advance of your meal but, I prefer it fresh from the stove.

Creamed Spinach and Parsnips

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds small parsnips peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces

2 large shallots, thinly sliced

1 cup turkey stock or canned low-sodium broth

1 teaspoon chopped thyme

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 pounds baby spinach (20 cups)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups half and half or whole milk

1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1.  In a large, deep skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the oil.  Add the parsnips and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the stock and thyme and bring to a boil.  Season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer over low heat until the parsnips are tender, about 8 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile fill a large deep pot with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.  Add the spinach in large handfuls and blanch stirring, just until wilted, about 10 seconds.  Drain and cool under running water.  Squeeze the spinach dry and coarsely chop it.  Stir the spinach into the parsnips.

3. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned, about 4 minutes.  Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking for 1 minute.  Whisk in the half and half and nutmeg, season with salt and pepper and bring the sauce to a boil, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes.  Stir the sauce into the spinach and parsnips and bring to a simmer.  Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

Make Ahead:  The creamed vegetables can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and rewarmed over low heat.  Stir in a little stock of the cream sauce is too thick.





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