Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Tart

Parsnips look like anemic carrots, but don't let their looks fool you. They are sweet, creamy and delicious and have become one of my favorite veggies. A one-cup serving has only 100 calories and a whopping 6.5g of dietary fiber. It's high in vitamin C, which is good news for those of you who rely on it to keep winter colds at bay.
Although they can be eaten raw, when it comes to cooking, parsnips are very versatile. They can be boiled, roasted, baked, fried or cooked and pureed for soup. The sweet flavor of parsnips marries well with sweet potatoes, carrots and apples. 

I love caramelized onions and as soon as I saw this recipe I knew where my parsnips were headed. 

The crust for this tart is the easiest thing ever. A mix of melted butter, vegetable oil, water, sugar, salt and flour are combined to make a dough that is pressed into the tart pan with your hands. No need to roll out dough for this tart! It came out beautifully crisp and held up well when removed from the pan for cutting.
If you haven't made friends with parsnips yet, I hope you'll give them a try!

Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Tart - Adapted from here.

The crust was made first using this recipe.

For the filling:
1 ¼ cups milk
½ cup Cheddar cheese, grated
2 T butter
3 onions, sliced
1# parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
3 eggs

Preheat to 350° F.

Melt butter in frying pan and add onions.  Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, until golden and caramelized.  Cut any woody centers out of the parsnips and discard. Cook the parsnips in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Drain well and put into a bowl. Mash until smooth.

Beat the eggs and milk together and stir in half the cheese, season and stir in the onions and parsnips. Pour the mixture into the tart pan and scatter the remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until just set in the middle. Remove from the tin and serve warm with a crisp green salad.