I remember the months of making Olive’s baby food with great fondness and happy farewells. While it was fun to show her new foods, I was all too glad to stop blending and pureeing things like chicken pot pie or beef stroganoff. Because while certain foods look nice pureed, others look like…gray. And gray just isn’t an appealing color in the food world.
Whenever I see recipes for purees, I instantly think, “That’s baby food” because it was to me. I never followed the rules of how to feed your baby what at what age, except for the standard “biggies” like honey, peanut butter and strawberries. I just always blended up whatever we were having and it always worked out great. Her first foods weren’t bland cereals, but full flavored vegetables. Olive ate and enjoyed nearly everything my trusty immersion blender wanted to create and I think, because of that, she isn’t very averse to strong flavors, spices and seasonings. I always seasoned her baby food. I’d hold back on the salt more than what my palette would prefer, but I felt that her food should taste good and that if we enjoyed it, she’d enjoy it!
Today’s recipe fits a lot of current trends. Substitutions for those evil, fear-inducing potatoes? Check. Browned Butter? Check. Calling baby food a puree and feeling fancy while serving it for dinner? Check. I made this dish last night as a side to lamb chops and roasted broccoli. (Olive gnawing on the lamb chop ranks up there with Greatest Moments Ever.) We all enjoyed it and I think it will make an appearance again during the fall season. Those crusty bits that Olive called bacon? Yeah, that’s roasted garlic. Totally awesome. If I could do anything, I’d make parsnips not so sweet. And then, by George, they’d actually taste like mashed potatoes! 🙂
Parsnip Puree with Coriander Brown Butter*
serves 4-6 as a side
2 lbs parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
5 TBS unsalted butter
2-4 TBS milk
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground coriander
2 cloves chopped garlic
Boil the chopped parsnips in salted water until tender. Transfer to a food processor, or to a large bowl if using an immersion blender. Add two tablespoons of butter, the milk and salt and pepper and blend until smooth and creamy and no chunks remain. Add a dash more milk if you want. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
In a stainless steel skillet over medium heat, add the remaining three tablespoons of butter, coriander and chopped garlic. Swirl the butter around until bubbling and starting to brown. Keep the garlic moving around so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and pour over the parsnip puree to serve!
*recipe from Real Simple magazine this month, in which they gave us four entire weeks of dinner planning. I’m not going to squander that work done for me, so we’re eating through Week 1 and enjoying it very much. Especially the lack of effort part.