Dinners, Gluten-Free, Mains, Small Bites, Two Servings, Vegan, Vegetarian
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Polenta-Parsnip Bites with Savory Walnut Sauce

A few months ago I made a parsnip-based soup, and I’m pretty sure it was the first time I’d ever had a parsnip. To me, they don’t really taste like anything, but I see that as a good thing. It’s always nice to have a vitamin-, mineral-, and nutrient-rich—yet neutral-tasting—veggie that can be used as a base for building a delicious meal. Kinda like having a blank, healthy canvas!

I decided to cook and mash it up with some savory ingredients and plop spoonfuls on top of fried polenta—I’d had a thing of polenta in my cupboard for a couple months that I was determined to use it up. I also wanted to use up the silken tofu from the walnut sauce I made recently, so guess what?—These little bites are also drizzled with the sauce. I just can’t get enough of it. I also had some sunchokes hanging out, so threw them in the dish too, and everything turned out awesome.

Hope you like it!

Polenta-Parsnip Bites with Savory Walnut Sauce
Two Servings | Vegan, Gluten-Free
Prep time:  |  Cook and serve time:

Cooking spray
5 parsnips
1/2 18-ounce package pre-cooked polenta
1 large shallot
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1-1/2 teaspoon tarragon, divided
4 to 5 garlic cloves
1/4 cup silken tofu
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup non-dairy milk
4 to 5 sunchokes
2 teaspoons olive oil

1. Cut polenta into 12 slices.
2. Mince 3 garlic cloves and slice shallot.
3. Peel and slice sunchokes.
4. Peel parsnips then cut into small pieces.
5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat, then add shallots, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of tarragon. Cook, stiring often until slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Stir in parsnips.

7. Cook covered, stirring every couple minutes, until very soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Pour into a medium mixing bowl.

8. Using a pastry cutter or fork, mash parsnips until they are relatively easy to create small clumps that stick together. (You can also pour them onto a cutting board and just keep cutting over and over until everything starts to stick together a little.)

9. In a blender, process walnuts, 1 to 2 cloves garlic (2 if small, 1 if large), 1/2 teaspoon of tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, tofu, and non-dairy milk until smooth.

Cook and serve:
1. If you’re pulling the parsnip mixture from the fridge, reheat it in a small skillet on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
2. In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook 6 polenta slices until they start to brown, 2 to 4 minutes on each side.
3. Arrange on a serving plate.
4. Add sunchokes to the same skillet and cook, stirring occassionally until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
5. While the sunchokes are cooking, place approximately 1 tablespoon of parsnip mixture on top of each slice of polenta.

6. Drizzle savory walnut sauce over each bite.

7. Scatter sunchokes over dish.

The walnut sauce also makes a great salad dressing if you’d like to toss it with some greens for a side salad.


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Cooking Blog: Pine and Crave | Mackenzie Schieck | Writer/Editor

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