Wednesday, 30 December 2009

More parsnip New Year treats

Amongst all the post-Christmas wilderness (partying, snowing and otherwise), here's a little bit of curiosity to amuse you.

My cockle-warming Parsnip and Parmezan soup has been a hit with a number of friends, and so whilst looking for another parsnip inspiring idea, I came across Elizabeth David's collection of Christmas recipes. One of them particularly caught my eye...

Pastenak and cress soupOr parsnip and cress soup - pastenak, according to David, is the medieval English word for parsnip , a corruption of the Latin word pastinaca. Now, the association I mentioned in my earlier soup post between the Russian word for parsnip - pasternak - and the famous Nobel-prize winner (yes, yes, Dr Zivago) doesn't seem all that laughable!

Did I completely confuse you? What I'm trying to say very pre New Year's Eve inarticulately, is that I just loved the feeling of discovering this little, unimportant linguistic link, which kind of felt fitting. In Italian the word is pastinache, in French panais - what is parsnip in your language??:):)
Back to the soup though...

To make the pastenak and cress soup you follow the same recipe as for my parsnip and parmezan soup, but omit the cheese and add a couple of handfuls of cress at the end, which makes the dish a whole lotta lighter and fresher. To me, this is a spring recipe really, so here's something that will work very nicely as your New Year's even starter - very a la Russe;)

Egg mayonnaise with parsnip cream
(taken from E. David's 'Christmas' edited by Jill Norman)

500 g parsnips, peeled or well scrubbed
3-4 tbsp of home-made mayonnaise (it needs to be rather acidic, so don't be shrewd with your lemon)
4-6 hard-boiled, organic, eggs

1. Chop parsnips into big chunks, bring to boil, simmer until cooked (some 20 mins), then puree and season with salt and plenty of pepper
2. Stir in your mayo, spread on a fanciful dish (I'd say a Soviet kitsch of a crystal dish in shape of a egg or a fish will work well here)
3. Cup eggs in half and arrange on top of the parsnip puree
4. Scatter shopped parsley

Nemirov honey coloured pepper vodka will work wonders here - match by taste, match by colour!

Thank you all my dear readers for a wonderfully food-laden year!

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