Parsnip, Miso, Oat and Shallot Boulangère
A gorgeously hearty, warming vegetable-based dish from Gizzi Erskine's inspiring book Restore which is full of and advice on how to eat ethically and seasonally.
This recipe is from the Autumn to Winter section and combines one of my favourite winter vegetables, parsnips with miso and, intriguingly, with oats.
Gizzi writes: Boulangère is a gratin of potatoes made by cooking potatoes in the juice (stock) and fat of lamb - the unsung hero of the potato dauphinois. Playing around with root vegetables in a gratin is a great way to really understand them. I've replaced the lamb stock and fat with a chicken or vegetable stock pumped up with miso and oat cream, that you can buy or make yourself. The flavour of the oat is what I want here, not the creaminess, and oat and parsnip are dreamy together.
This dish is a good way to show how we often overlook the flavours of the modern plant-based movement. This gratin is superb as a main dish for a supper or served as a side dish, and if you make it with vegetable stock, your vegan friends will thank you."
SERVES 4 as a side dish
Preparation lime 15 minutes
Cooking lime 45 minutes
2 tbsp oil
4 shallots, very thinly sliced
500g parsnips, cut into very fine rounds (ideally using a mandolin e or a food processor with a thin slicing attachment)
500ml fresh vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you're not making it for vegetarians or vegans)
1 tbsp white miso paste
½ tsp salt
250ml oat cream
few sprigs of thyme
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas mark 9.
Start by sweating the shallots. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat, add the shallots and cook gently for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until beautifully soft and caramelised.
Add the sliced parsnips (I don't think they need peeling - the peel adds a nice texture) to a separate saucepan, along with the stock, miso paste and salt. Bring to the boil then take off the heat immediately. Drain the parsnips, reserving the stock. Return the stock to the pan and cook over a high heat until the volume has reduced to about 150ml and the stock has a thick, syrupy consistency.
While the stock is reducing, you can start constructing the dish. Once the parsnips are cool enough to handle, take a gratin dish (about 2 litre capacity) and make a layer of parsnips on the bottom, two or three parsnip slices thick. Spoon over a thin layer of the shallots, season with pepper and the leaves from the sprigs of thyme. Repeat this process until you have used everything up.
To finish the sauce, add the oat cream to the stock and allow to reduce further for a couple of minutes until thickened slightly. Pour this over the parsnips and put the dish in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until the top is crisp and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to sit for a couple of minutes before serving.
What to drink: I'd go for a rich white with this, maybe with a lick of oak. I'm thinking white Rhône or Roussillon (anything from grenache blanc or gris), oaked white rioja or a Douro white
Photography credit – c. Issy Croker.
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