Lately I’ve been sampling James Peterson’s book, Vegetables, reading up on all the things I don’t know about turnips and rutabagas and bok choy. Somebody must use them, because even the sadly understocked Safeway near my condo, which routinely runs out of exotic products like milk and ground beef, always seems to have them in stock. But they’ve never been part of my repertoire.
Same with parsnips. I’m sure I’ve had parsnip purée, but I’ve never cooked with them myself, until now. I wanted to try something new, and I found a recipe for Parsnip Gratin with Gruyère and Thyme at Atelier Christine
Peterson describes the taste of a parsnip as being somewhere between a carrot and a potato, and I think that’s right on the money. My Parsnip Gratin, which required a lot of peeling and chopping and grating, tasted very much like good old scalloped potatoes. It was fine, but considering how much effort went into it, I was hoping for something more exciting.
★ Disaster. Inedible. Poisoned the cat.
★★ OK, but once is enough.
★★★ Mixed results. Something went wrong, but might try this again.
★★★★ Good, but lacks that special something.
★★★★★ Excellent. Goes into my “This is a winner” file.