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Mashed Potatoes with Parsnip and Horseradish

Mashed Potatoes with Parsnip and Horseradish
An underappreciated root vegetable, the parsnip looks like a white carrot and has a slightly sweet flavor. Parsnips can be cooked in the same way you cook carrots, boiled, steamed, roasted or grilled. Unlike carrots, however, they are not good eaten raw. Try to buy them individually rather than in bags, since the bagged ones are often not as fresh and, once peeled, are usually too thin to be useful in many dishes. Parsnips are at their peak of flavor during the cold winter months when frost converts their starches to sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes, about 2 lb. total, peeled and
     cut into rounds 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 parsnips, about 3/4 lb. total, peeled and
     cut into rounds 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room
     temperature
  • 2 Tbs. prepared white cream-style horseradish
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup warmed half-and-half or heavy
     cream, plus more as needed

Directions:

Pour water to a depth of 1 inch into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Put the potatoes and parsnips into a steamer basket and set the basket over the boiling water. (The water should not touch the bottom of the steamer basket.) Cover and steam until the vegetables are very tender when pierced with a small knife, about 15 minutes. Transfer the potatoes and parsnips to a bowl.

Empty the pot and wipe dry. Return the vegetables to the still-hot pot. Add the butter, horseradish, salt and pepper. Using a potato masher, mash until smooth. Add the 1/3 cup half-and-half and mash to blend, adding more half-and-half, 1 Tbs. at a time, if needed to reach the desired consistency. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Make-Ahead Tip: This dish can be prepared up to 2 hours in advance. Cover loosely and let stand at room temperature. Just before serving, reheat gently over low heat, stirring often.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Potato, by Selma Brown Morrow (Simon & Schuster, 2002).