I like parsnips. They have a sweetness that rivals beets, carrots, turnips and even sweet potatoes. They are not a very popular vegetable, in fact, some people loathe them (my father was one).
I became familiar with them in the days (years) of my squandered youth when I lived in the desert mountain wilderness. On weekly trips down the mountain to the city my extremely limited funds went toward rice, dried beans, whole wheat flour and whatever fruits and vegetables were for sale on the reduced-in-price rack in the produce department. My grocery purchases were limited by: as much as I could afford, as much as would fit in my backpack and as much as I was able to carry back up the mountain. On one such hike to town my purchases included parsnips. I discovered their sweet flavor made a wonderful contribution to a pot of yellow split peas cooked with onion and garlic over the fire.
I planted parsnip seeds in the garden this year. I hope they germinate and do well, in which case there may be more parsnip dishes coming up in the fall.
Today’s dish includes frozen leeks (grown in the garden a few years ago), parsnips and oyster mushrooms. The oyster mushrooms had been stored in the refrigerator in a paper bag and had dried out but were still perfectly good. As soon as I bring mushrooms home from the market I transfer them into a paper bag. They will dry out over time but will not spoil.
Preparation for this dish began with briefly boiling the parsnip and dry oyster mushrooms to soften.
Frozen leeks, sliced garlic, fresh mushrooms and herbs were then sautéed in olive oil.
After cooking for several minutes the parboiled parsnips and oyster mushrooms were added and cooking continued under a lid for several more minutes. I’m sure kosher salt got thrown in there at some point (am I supposed to remember all those details?!).
Tapioca starch mixed with water was stirred into the cooking vegetables and all was transferred into a pie dish with a hand formed bottom crust.
The pie crust dough was prepared yesterday from ground almond solids (left over from making the almond milk used in yesterday’s dish), olive oil, whole wheat pastry flour, salt and cold water as needed.
The upper crust was rolled out, positioned on top and pressed into the lower crust to seal. It has a rustic look, but hey, this is peasant cuisine. Remember?
Only 30 minutes remained until mealtime so I baked the pie at 400ºF with the convection fan.
This was a vegan dish until I happened to notice leftover parsley butter in the refrigerator. I brushed that onto the top crust and shoved the pie back into the oven for another minute or two.
I had severe doubts about how the crust would turn out, but everything was excellent and delicious.
Oh… there was just a little pie crust dough left so I used it to wrap a leftover Big Frank veggie dog.