I meandered into the “sides” section of Ina’s cookbook again. Maybe it was the bright colors in the photograph or the fact that I like the color orange…whatever it was, I chose “orange-braised carrots and parsnips” for today’s recipe.
1 pound carrots with the greens attached
1 pound thin parsnips
1/3 cup small-diced shallots (1 large)
2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 ¼ cups freshly squeezed orange juice (or bottled juice)
1/3 cup good olive oil
6 springs fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
My first thought when I began reading this recipe was, do I even know what a parsnip looks like? Nope. I didn’t. I only found them at the grocery store after reading all of the tiny labels in the veggie section. Even then, I thought it was mislabeled because it looked like a geoduck!
This was my first time cooking with geoduck, er, I mean parsnips. Welcome to the club if this is also your first time! (They turned out to be very tasty.)
First, I preheated the oven to 275 degrees.
I began the food prep by washing and peeling the carrots and the parsnip. Although I love vegetables, I wasn’t too sure that I needed 2 pounds of carrots and parsnips for the next week—so I only bought 1 bunch of carrots (about 6 carrots) and one, large parsnip. In the end, this amount gave me 4 servings—which was perfect.
I cut the carrots and the parsnip in quarters and then laid them on the bottom of a pot that was set at medium-high heat.
**Select a pot that allows the veggies to lie flat. A dutch oven is perfect because the veggies will be going into the oven. If you don’t have one, no worries, just use the largest pot you have for the stove and an oven-save casserole for the baking step.
Next, I added the shallots, orange zest (I used Clementines for the zest!), ¾ cup of orange juice, olive oil, thyme, red pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper to the pot. Again, I was fresh thyme-less so I used the bottled stuff.
After bringing the pot to a boil I poured my mixture into an oven-safe casserole dish with a lid and placed it in the oven. (If you are using a dutch oven, transfer it to the oven.) Make sure you cover your pot or casserole dish with either foil or a lid. Cook for 1 ½ hours. (Note: Since I was using fewer vegetables, I took my dish out of the oven after 1 hour.)
If you are using fresh thyme, discard the bundle before serving. Also add the remaining ½ cup of orange juice and some chopped parsley.
I served this dish hot, but it would also be delicious cold. The red pepper flakes give the carrots and parsnips an extra kick while the orange juice and zest make it mildly sweet.