Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oven Braised Parsnips and Carrots

Plated Parsnips and Carrots with Parsley Sprinkles and Lemon Wedges
Braised and Garnished Parnsips and Carrots

Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking

“I love your cooking, Robin,” said my friend Joy at dinner a week before Christmas last year. She was specifically talking about this dish, which Bruce and I served with roast turkey, coleslaw, and cranberry sauce. “You know how to make healthy things taste good.”  Sadly, this was the last meal we shared. A chronic illness put her into sudden decline the next week, and she passed away shortly afterwards. I will always cherish my memory of our last dinner, and how we attended the Christmas carol singalong with Boomeria’s 2500-pipe organ afterwards. Let’s join in celebration with our friends, while we have the opportunity.

Parsnips and Carrots on Cutting Board
Next: Slice Parsnips in Half Lengthwise
As I told Joy, I adapted this recipe is from “Joy, from a simple Joy of Cooking parsnip recipe. I added carrots and reduced the butter. I also needed more broth because my total quantity of veggies increased. You can use any proportion of parsnips to carrots, as long as the total weight is about 1 ½ lbs. Joy of Cooking’s recommended garnish is lemon butter or parsley butter. I’ve used both lemon and parsley, but eliminated the butter.

This simple braising idea can work for many other veggies, though when I tried it with turnips and their greens it was disappointing. Next time I braise turnips or rutabagas, I’ll use a sweeter braising liquid, like apple cider, and/or mix in some carrots, parsnips, or winter squash for sweetness. Feel free to adapt this idea any veggies that you have. Please post your success stories!

Joy of Cooking is a great resource for all sorts of basic recipes that you can adapt—I’ve been using a copy since a former employer gifted me for Christmas in 1981! And if you haven’t read the stormy story of how Joy of Cooking came to be, you might enjoy the book Stand Facing the Stove. Mother and daughter overcame incredible difficulties to get this book published. Read my review on Goodreads.

Parsnips and Carrots in Casserole Being Brushed with Butter
Brushing Top of Veggies with Butter
Oven Braised Parsnips and Carrots
serves about 6

¾ lb. parsnips
¾ lb carrots
1 cup veggie broth
1 tbsp. melted butter
lemon garnish
¼ - ½ cup chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel parsnips and cut in half lengthwise. Remove woody cores, if any. Wash carrots and trim the ends. Peel if you like.

Butter a 2 ½ quart covered casserole dish. Layer carrots and parsnips in casserole. Add broth. Brush top with melted butter. Cover casserole and bake for one hour, stirring once to move the submerged veggies to the top.

Remove parsnips and carrots to a serving dish with a slotted spoon. Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon wedges.

You can use the broth in other recipes, like Potato Leek Soup. Delicious!



  1. Nice photos! They show the nice variety of colors in this dish: yellow, orange, white and a little green perk up the plate which is especially nice in the cold months.

  2. What about farm-fresh eggs? We want to hear about farm-fresh eggs!

  3. Hi Rob, check this evening's post...will post frittata recipe once I figure out what I'm doing. I've actually not made one before.

  4. This is one of my very favorite recipes. I am sorry you lost your friend. <3

    1. Thanks, Junebug. Glad that you like the recipe. Everytime I make it (like tonight, 1 day after her birthday), I know that my friend is watching over me. <3