seattle has seen a few spring days so far, but the spring vegetables are a ways off yet. for now, the fridge is packed with root vegetables... a combination of parsnips, carrots, sunchokes, and beets. tonight's meal featured roasted parsnips (inspired by smitten kitchen) and sherried wild mushroom & sunchoke toasts.
parmesan parsnip sticks:
3 lbs parsnips, peeled and halved or quartered into equal sized sticks
2 egg whites
2-3 cups grated parmesan
fresh or dried oregano, chopped
black pepper & sea salt (i used red sea salt for some fun added color)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 head of garlic, roasted in olive oil
salt and pepper
beat eggs with your herbs in a large bowl. toss in your parsnip sticks, covering your parsnips with egg wash. individually role the parsnip sticks in the grated parmesan and place on a greased foil-lined baking sheet - leaving space between each parsnip. liberally salt and pepper your sheet of parsnips and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and parsnips are fork tender.
in the mean time, bring tomatoes, tons of roasted garlic gloves with oil, herbs and salt and pepper in a small sauce pan until thickened. this makes a delicious and intensely garlicky dipping sauce for your parmesan parsnip sticks!
sherried wild mushrooms & sunchoke toasts:
2-3 cups mixed wild mushrooms (any variety)
1 cup sunchokes, peeled, halved & thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil (i used some of the leftover oil from roasting garlic)
2 cloves roasted garlic smashed, or 1 raw clove diced
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cups sherry
a spoon or two of brown sugar
goat cheese & mixed greens
in a large skillet or cast iron, melt butter and oil and begin to sautee mushrooms, sunchokes and shallots. the mushrooms will release water, but just keep cooking at a medium heat until the water cooks off. add in your garlic, salt and pepper after about 6-8 minutes and sautee until everything is nicely borwn (another 5 minutes or so). add in the sherry and cook until it evaporates. adding a spoonful of brown sugar creates an amazing and unusual taste that brings out the sherry on your toasts! but you may prefer less sweet mushrooms...
once browned, remove from heat and prep your toasts: brush thin slices of baguette with olive oil and broil lightly until browned on both sides. spread a layer of goat cheese on each toast, layered with mixed salad greens and a heaping pile of sherried mushrooms and sunchokes. pepper to taste. these are quite the fancy little appetizer!