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Related Ingredients

Tasting Notes

Parsnips are similar to carrots, but it's their unique spicy-sweetness that enlivens this purée.

The warming, orchard-fresh notes of apples meld with the earthy notes of the parsnips as they cook down together. The final product is equally savory and sweet. Honey imparts another layer of floral sweetness to the dish, while black pepper adds spice. The assertive ginger purée brings a hint of acidity, and butter adds richness. Thanks to the parsnip chips, we get a contrasting crunchy texture and an extra kick of salt.

Tips & Techniques

  1. Take it slow. The longer you cook down the apples and parsnips, the more developed the flavor of the purée will be.
  2. Size matters. Even though the apples and parsnips are going to end up in a purée – where no one will be able to admire your knife skills – it’s still important to slice them evenly to promote even cooking.
  3. Less liquid, more flavor. By sweating the apples and parsnips over low heat with butter and a touch of salt, you most likely won’t need to add any liquid at all. This way, you’ll end up with completely concentrated flavors, instead of a watered-down purée.


These tools are the ones we find especially helpful when making this dish.

  1. Apple Corer. An apple corer removes the cores and seeds from apples in one movement. For this recipe, use a standard corer – a cylindrical stick that pierces through the center of the apple, leaving the rest of the apple intact.
  2. Ring cutter. Use circular cookie cutter that’s slightly smaller than the apple to make the rings perfectly round.

The list below includes all the equipment you’ll want to make this dish.

Apple corer
Knife and cutting board
2″ round cutter
Bowl with acidulated water
Sauté pan

Rubber spatula
High-sided sauté pan

Spider or slotted spoon

Plate with paper towels


For the Parsnip-Apple Purée:
  • 1 lb. medium apples (about 4), preferably sweet and tart apples such as Granny Smith
  • 1 lb. medium parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Ginger Purée (from the Ginger-Crusted Salmon recipe)
  • 3 lemons


For the Parsnip Chips:

  • Parsnip ribbons
  • Grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
  • Salt

Serves: 4

Total Time: 50 minutes

Active Time: 40 minutes

  1. Peel the apples and then core them using an apple corer. Trim the tops and bottoms off 2 of the apples to remove the rounded edges. Slice crosswise into 1/3-inch thick slices so they look like donuts with a hole in the middle. Using a ring cutter just smaller than the apple, cut each slice into a perfect circle. Reserve the rounds for the Apple Gastrique and reserve the scraps for the purée. Hold the apples in water with the juice from 3 lemons. Slice the other 2 apples thinly for the purée.
  2. Peel the parsnips and then use your vegetable peeler to run down the length of a peeled parsnip, slicing about 20 paper-thin parsnips ribbons. Reserve the ribbons for the parsnip chips. Slice the remaining parsnips into even 1/4-inch slices.
  3. Make the parsnip chips: set a high-sided sauté pan over medium heat. Add a ½-inch of grapeseed or canola oil. Add the parsnip ribbons to the cold oil making sure that they separate as they go in. It is important to do this in batches if it looks like the pan will be too crowded with chips. They should not overlap. Once the ribbons begin to bubble, fry them for 2 to 4 minutes, or until they are light golden brown.
  4. Make parsnip purée: set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the honey. Once melted, add the butter and stir to combine. Add the sliced parsnips, but continue to reserve ribbons for the chips. Reserve the apple rings for garnish, but add the rest of the sliced apples to the pan. Season lightly with salt and cook, stirring often, over medium heat until moisture has been drawn out from the apples and parsnips, but they have not colored. If the apples begin to caramelize, add a little water to the pan. Continue cooking until the apples and parsnips are very soft, almost a pulp – about ten to 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the chips using tongs or a spider and drain them on paper towels, replacing the paper towels with new ones as they become saturated with oil. Season with salt and sprinkle with chopped parsley. If making another batch, let the oil cool a bit before starting again, and watch the second batch of chips closely, as the oil will likely be hotter than the first time around.
  6. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. If your blender isn’t already coated with the ginger mixture, add your reserved ginger purée. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Here is a great way to turn this dish into a meal

Vegetable soup with toasted croutons

To create an all-season soup, thin the purée slightly with vegetable stock. Add diced roasted garlic, toasted croutons and diced fennel that has been sweated in olive oil for a comforting vegetarian dish.