My friend Elly has the most beautiful recipe for Parsnips that I have been using for many years, Parsnips with Gorgonzola. It always turns out delicious and it is something which I frequently served with roast beef when I cooked at the manor. They loved it. It's a dish that always goes down really well.
It makes a fabulous side dish for dinner parties or the holidays. I charged it up a little bit this time when I made it by adding some toasted walnuts and using leeks instead of spring onions. It turned out to be just gorgeous.
You get the buttery almost sweet creaminess, with caramlized edges of the parsnips . . . then the sharp herbiness of the leeks, the toasty crunch from the walnuts, and then that rich creamy tang from the gorgonzola cheese. All making happy noises and feelings in your mouth. So much tastiness!
The only way they could even possibly be any tastier would be if you drizzled them with some honey perhaps . . . oh, boy. I'm going to do that next time, I am, I am! Enjoy!
*Gorgonzola, Leek and Toasted Walnut Parsnips*Serves 4 to 6
Melt 2 TBS of the butter in a large skillet. Add the parsnips in one layer and lightly brown them on all sides. Arrange them in a lightly buttered baking dish, fitting them in snugly. Wipe the pan out and then melt the remaining butter and heat until it begins to foam. Add the sliced leek and walnuts. Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft and the walnuts lightly toasted. Scatter this over top of the parsnips in the dish. Crumble the gorgonzola over top. (This much can be done ahead the day before if you wish)
When you are ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 220*C/450*F/ gas mark 8. Pop the dish of parsnips in and bake until the cheese is very lightly browned, 10 to 13 minutes.
This recipe gave me the perfect opportunity to use some of that Divo Italiano Cubed Gorgonzola P.D.O. Piccante that I was sent. It has such a nice bite and beautiful creaminess. It was a Gold award winner at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards 2013, a P.D.O. Italian blue cheese without any rind which means nothing goes to waste. Packaged in a convenient pre-cubed format, it is the first to market in this format for Gorgonzola cheese. It is matured for up to 90 days in natural caves in Northern Italy to give it a sharp, spicy (‘piccante’ in Italian) flavour and creamy texture. It makes a delicious match with ripe pears and walnuts tossed into rocket leaves, melted on pizza, or used to make an indulgent cooking sauce. You can buy it at Morrisons and via Ocado.