Salt Crust Parsnips with Sage Butter

Salt-dough parsnips with whipped sage butter

  • serves 4-6
  • A little effort

Check out this easy salt baked parsnip recipe, perfect for an impressive side dish for any special occasion.

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Cooking in a salt crust locks moisture into the food, so here the parsnips are steamed in their own juices. You can use egg white mixed with salt to make a sand-like crust but we find it much easier to make a salt dough with flour as it’s better to handle. Just remember to discard the baked dough at the end – it’s inedible!

Ingredients

  • plain flour 700g
  • table salt 150g
  • smoked paprika 1 tbsp
  • parsnips 8-9 small ones (about 800g)

SAGE BUTTER

  • unsalted butter 125g, very soft
  • sage 20g, leaves picked
  • whole milk 4 tbsp

Method

  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Stir the flour, salt and paprika in a large bowl, pour in 250ml of water and mix until fully combined. Tip onto a worksurface and knead until smooth. Add a little more flour if it seems too sticky – it should feel malleable.

  • Step 2

    Divide the dough evenly so you have a piece for each parsnip, rolling into balls as you go. Take one ball of dough and flatten between your palms to make a disc about 1cm thick. Lay a parsnip in the middle and draw the dough up around it, pressing and spreading it to completely seal in the parsnip. Put onto a baking sheet and repeat with the others.

  • Step 3

    Put the tray into the oven and bake for 55 minutes, after which time the dough will have baked to a solid golden crust.

  • Step 4

    For the sage butter, heat a frying pan with 25g of the butter. Once foaming, add the sage and fry until crisp, turning over so they crisp evenly. Use tongs to lift the leaves onto a chopping board, shaking the excess butter back into the pan as you go. Chop the leaves finely and set aside.

  • Step 5

    Put the remaining soft butter in a bowl. Beat with electric beaters then gradually add the still warm butter from the frying pan and beat until combined. Add 1 tbsp of the milk and beat until combined, starting slowly and building up the speed so it doesn’t fly everywhere. Keep adding the milk a little at a time until it’s combined then gradually increase the speed to full power, whipping the butter until really light and fluffy. Add the chopped sage and beat briefly until combined. Scoop into a serving bowl.

  • Step 6

    Once the parsnips have baked, use a small sharp knife to cut away the top edge of crust, revealing the soft parsnip below. Dot each parsnip with a little sage butter so it starts to melt, and serve the rest at the table so you can add more as you eat.

Try more of our veggie sides here...

Christmas Vegetable Side Dishes

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 277
  • Fat 19.2g
  • Saturates 11.4g
  • Carbs 19.5g
  • Sugars 7.8g
  • Fibre 6.4g
  • Protein 3.3g
  • Salt 0.7g
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