Parsnip puree

Adapted from Skye Gyngell book A Year in My Kitchen

My man came back from the hunt the other day, proudly bringing a huge (4,5 kg) hare. Perfect timing, as just in a few days was our son’s third birthday! For that occasion I made the tastiest Skye Gyngell’s inspired "Hare pancetta and verjuice" dish accompanied by the humble yet heavenly parsnip puree.

Unfortunately, I was way too busy that day to document all this fancy hare-cooking. Next time he brings a bunny-rabbit or a hare I will photograph and describe the whole process through (from skinning and cleaning to the final presentation on the plate). Yes!

Nonetheless, puree was so delicious and so simple to make, that I started to prepare it as a side dish in my everyday cooking. With its sweet and nutty flavor this puree does go beautifully with rabbit or hare. But it also works with slow-cooked chicken dishes or simple grilled meats. It is very convenient side dish as it can be prepared ahead of time and reheated before serving.

serves 4


1 kg parsnips
4 thyme sprigs
50g butter
2 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


1. Peel and roughly chop the parsnips. Place in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add a good pinch of salt and the thyme springs. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the parsnips are real tender when pierced with a fork. 

2. Remove from the heat and drain in a colander, saving around half of the ”parsnip water”. Discard the thyme springs. 

3. Put the parsnips back in the saucepan and add the mustard, butter, crème fraîche and nutmeg. Mix to a smooth purée with the handheld blender. If too thick, use some of saved water from parsnips to get the wanted consistence. Check for seasoning – you’ll probably need to add a little salt and generous grinding of pepper.

4. If the purée needs to be warmed through, stir it frequently over a low heat before serving.

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