Sunday, February 5, 2023

A Duo of Winter White Vegetables: Ina Garten's Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes and Parsnip Puree

This week it's a WHITE OUT in the Stirring the Pot kitchen. I am absolutely tired of the warm weather  and in desperate need of a SNOW DAY! Bring on the snow, I say! 

First up, Ina's Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes. Cauliflower simply doesn't get enough love, and I can't think of a better way to celebrate an under-appreciated vegetable like cauliflower, than by making Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes. It's like throwing cauliflower a party...all of it's own. 

Simply slice the cauliflower into 1/2" thick slices and watch it fall into cauliflower snowflakes that get roasted in the oven and topped with panko and Parmesan. 

The panko goes crisp and golden, providing a crunch, and the Parmesan adds a salty, nutty flavor. I really loved it and found that I was eating it straight off the pan. If you're a cauliflower fan, this is a good recipe!

Roasted Cauliflower Snowflakes

Adapted from Make It Ahead

by Ina Garten

Serves 4-6

1 head cauliflower (about 2-1/2 pounds)

olive oil

salt and black pepper

1/2 cup panko 

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425F. Remove the leaves and trim the stem of the cauliflower but leave the core intact. With a sharp slicing knife, cut the whole cauliflower in large (1/2" thick) slices. Don't worry if the slices fall apart; they'll look like snowflakes. Place the cauliflower on a sheet pan, drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast the cauliflower for 15 minutes.

Toss the panko with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle on the cauliflower, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until tender and browned. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and roast for another minute or two. Immediately, scrape the pan with a metal spatula and toss the cauliflower and Parmesan. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Now for the parsnips. I've had pieces of them mixed with other veggies, but I've never really had them on their own, as the star of the dish, until now. This recipe has a handful of really simple ingredients: parsnips, butter, salt and pepper. That's it, yet somehow they combine to make the most complex and uniquely delicious puree. 

The texture is lighter than that of mashed potatoes, but the flavor is sweet, earthy, almost floral. I found this recipe to be wonderfully delightful and I can tell you that I've found a new favorite. I am going to be making this Parsnip Puree with fervor! 

I also have to mention that Parsnip Puree is much less finicky than making mashed potatoes and is leagues healthier so this recipe is a total win all around!

Parsnip Puree

Adapted from Go-To Dinners

by Ina Garten

Serves 4

1-1/2 pounds parsnips, scrubbed and sliced 3/4" thick

salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons butter, diced

Place the parsnips in a medium pot, add 1 tablespoon salt, and add enough water to cover the parsnips. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then uncover, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the parsnips are very soft and when tested with a small knife. Don't drain the pot!

With a slotted spoon or small strainer, transfer the parsnips to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse to chop the parsnips. Pour the cooking liquid into a glass measuring cup and pour 1/2 cup down the feeding tube. Puree the parsnips, adding more cooking liquid (about 1 cup total) through the feed tube until the parsnips are creamy and almost smooth but still have some texture. Add the butter and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and puree until combined. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.




  1. Parsnips are one veggie that I haven't introduced Nico to yet, but this sounds like a perfect recipe for that! I might even be able to trick Remy into eating them...

  2. Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorites to make. I roast a whole cauliflower because it's so easy. Panko crisp is such a nice addition! If that's not enough, parsnip will take it over the top.


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