Thursday, 4 November 2010

Creamy Parsnip and thyme risotto

I have some lemon thyme growing in the garden, but unashamedly I actually used dried thyme in this risotto as I was not prepared to go back outside and get drenched again from the cold pouring rain. I think I’ve actually got a cold coming on. I’ve been sneezing all day.

I found the natural creaminess of the parsnips quite rich in this risotto, so no need for dairy cream or cheese. However D had other ideas. He pointed out that he had picked up log of goats cheese which was in the fridge and requested that I top his risotto with a slice. So for those of you who are inclined like him, you are most welcome to do so too, in which case for 4 people you would require 100g goats cheese. I was happy with my plate the way it was, garnished aplenty with the witchy finger parsnip crisps.
The recipe below makes a large quantity. I made the extra portions as I wanted to make some arancini with the remaining risotto. Arancini or arancine derived from the Italian word for Oranges are risotto balls coated in breadcrumbs, then deep fried. Sometimes they have mozzarella cheese inside, sometimes vegetables.

If the quantity of the risotto is too much for your needs, you are most welcome to half the recipe if serving 2 hungry people.

Parsnip and Thyme Risotto
Serves 4
For the oven baked parsnip crisps
100g parsnips
1 – 2 tablespoon olive oil
Sea Salt
For the parsnip risotto
400g parsnips, peeled and grated
4 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
4 shallots, finely sliced
400g risotto rice
2 ¾ pints vegetable stock, simmering
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Goats cheese
For the parsnip crisps
Wash the parsnips and peel. Take potato peeler and shave thin layers of parsnip from root and place into a bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss parsnip shavings, making sure that all surfaces are lightly covered with the oil. Place parsnip shavings onto a non-stick baking sheet in a single layer and put into a pre-heated oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, checking and turning every few minutes. When light brown and crispy, take out of oven and blot on kitchen paper. Bake in oven to gas mark 4 for 4 minutes, then flip the crisps over and bake for a further 4 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven, season with salt and set aside to cool.
For the risotto
Heat the oil in a deep heavy based pan. Add the shallots and sauté until softened. Add the rice and stir until well coated. Increase the heat, add the grated parsnip, thyme and stir well. Then stir in a large ladleful of hot stock. Cook over moderate heat, stirring every few minutes and adding more stock as it is absorbed. Season to taste. Continue adding stock (or boiling water if that runs out) until the grains of the rice taste creamy. Serve immediately topped with goats cheese if using and garnishing of parsnip crisps.


  1. Looks great! And that's a wonderful idea to make extra for arancini - they are my favorite!

  2. Oooh, are you going to post the Arancini tomorrow? I love those in restaurants but have never made my own - I especially love them with melted mozzarella in the middle.

  3. I've never had risotto! I see it on TV all the time, and it looks yummy. I have to admit I am scared to make it, it looks like it would be difficult.

  4. Thanks Miss Meat and Potatoes.
    Hope your well. Its been a while :)

    Please Do not Feed the Animals.
    Hopefully I wil. No promises. So you will have to forgive me if I don't.

    Some Chilean Woman.
    I am sure an Italian Mama would criticise my risotto for not being very good. But my advise to you is - try it. YOu won't get it right the first time, but if you don't begin now, you'll never get better. Lots of TLC and stirring.

  5. I don't think I've had parsnips in my life, and after getting a couple from my co-op this week, I was wondering what to do with them. And here you have two lovely-sounding parsnip recipes in one week! I'll definitely try this- sounds yummy!

  6. Lovely, lovely. I like the witchy fingers very much. I hope you beat that cold before it advances.

  7. Heather.
    I was a little late being intro'd to parsnips too. I used to dislike their sweetness, now I don't mind indulging. esp winter time.

    Please do try the parsnips crips!

    Thank you Kath.
    I hope I besa tthe cold too. Can't decide between hot choc. or a lemon drink?!

  8. Looks like the perfect remedy, sans goat cheese. Feel better.

  9. Both the risotto and the crisps sound delicious. Do hope that cold doesn't come to much. It took me a month to get rid of mine.

  10. Thank you so much GiGi.

    Thanks Choclette.
    Ooh I hope to beat it. The weather is just so horrid at the morning, that my little nose is dripping non-stop.

  11. Anything with goat cheese on top sounds good to me!

  12. Dearest Mango, your recipes always inspire me, although as an American, I have no clue what temp you're referring to when you write things like "gas mark 4" :)

    I do, however, have some experience making risotto, and am enthralled with the idea of those crisps! Since I seldom follow recipes to the letter anyway, I am going to have to try out this dish in my own fashion.

    Stay warm and dry, and I hope you feel better soon. Snow is predicted tonight in my little corner of the world (uggh - already?). This seems like a perfectly warming dish combat the elements outside.

  13. Good risotto, it will make great arancini. Be careful if you go to Italy, the real arancini usually have meat inside.

  14. Hey Mango! I LOVE this idea so much! I love parsnips, and I think they dont get the appreciation they deserve! Thanks for this recipe!

  15. Love the witchy parsnip fingers))).

    Sorry you have a cold though. Get well soon.

  16. Lovely to hear from you Patricia.
    Delighted to read you like :)

    Dear Eggy,
    Thank you. Please check the bottom of my sidebar where I have Gas mark conversions :)

    Do hope you enjoy the crisp, they are delightful. Look forward to seeing your version. Have a good weekend.

    I am feeling much better today. The sneezing has stopped for now.

    Thank you Alessandra.
    Certainly good praise from you.
    When I am in Italy, I wil get my guniea pig (D) to test arancini first, before I tuck into them myself.

    Thank you Morgan.
    Your right parsnips do not get the appreciation they deserve! But with winter coming now, its a good time to experiment with it.

    Thanks Gardeningbren.
    I'm feeling much better today. Think because its the weekend too :)

  17. It sounds so good!!! I can't wait to try this recipe :)

    That GOOD GOOD Blog

  18. Thank you Dee O.
    Lovely to make your acquaintance.

  19. this sounds so good. love the pairing of parsnips and risotto...thanks for sharing.

  20. The risott sounds great and I am with D- cheese makes everything better! Aren't risotto balls just plain comfort food. I just love them.

  21. Than you so much blackbookdiaries.

    Thanks Lexa.
    I will let D know too.
    Risotto balls are comfort food for sure.

  22. Can't wait to give this a go - nice one

  23. Thank you so much Simon.
    Firstly for your comment and secondly, for becoming a follower. I really do appreciate it and am always, always humbled when a fellow reader decided s/he likes my blog enough to support it this way. Thank you - means a lot.

    PS If you do get round to making this, please do come back and let me know how you found it. I'd love to know :)


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