A little bit of dressing up takes what could be very ordinary and humble carrots and parsnips several notches up. Adding toasted pecans could take it over the top and worthy of your holiday menu.
Although parsnips and carrots look alike, aside from their different colors, they have distinctly different flavors: carrots are sweeter and parsnips, nuttier. I made up this recipe after reading up on one my sister’s (the anchovy giver) favorite ways to make carrots: carrots Vichy, which, according to The Joy of Cooking, is really nothing more than cooking sliced carrots in water, butter and sugar until the water is absorbed. The “Vichy” name alludes to its origins of using authentic spa water from Vichy, France.
The parsnips are a nice addition, not just for the contrast in color. And the fresh dill adds another layer of flavor – and color.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut into ¼ inch slices, about 2 ½ cups
1 pound parsnips, peeled, and cut into ¼ inch slices, about 2 ½ cups
½ cup vegetable stock
1 cup champagne
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup fresh dill weed, or 2 teaspoons dried dill
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
- Melt butter in large saucepan.
- Over medium heat, cook the carrot and parsnip slices in the butter until they begin to brown.
- Add vegetable stock, champagne, honey and salt. Stir to combine.
- Adjust heat to a simmer, cover and cook on low until vegetables are just tender, not mushy, about 5 minutes.
- Remove cover and continue cooking until liquid is almost evaporated.
- Add lemon juice, lemon zest and dill. Stir to combine and serve.
- Garnish with pecans, if you’d like. To toast the nuts, spread in one layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly toasted, stirring once or twice.
- Makes about 8 servings, about 1/2/ cup each