I’ve always wanted the recipes on my blog to represent the values we have here at TPT – meaning I want them to be seasonal, accessible or adaptable. Every now and again something will slip though that’s truly indulgent and out there, but now more than ever I’ve realised the importance of my recipes being these three things. Today’s recipe is Baked Parsnip with Masala Beans.
COVID-19 has put our country into a war like state. Nan said to me last week “it’s like being at war, but you can’t see your enemy.” Unfortunately this means people have panicked bought so food is now being rationed – and in turn people have begun to support their local producers and trying to get by with what they have available to them.
I’m in this situation just as much as you are and I’m very fortunate that one habit I have had from the start is that I ensure everything I cook and photograph gets eaten by my family, my team or myself. I didn’t however want the limited trips to the supermarket to stop me from sharing my work with you, so I’ve set about to photograph some of the meals I’m preparing in my daily life. This may mean they’re not as flamboyant as usual, but more homely and accessible.
For some recipes I’ve delved into Nan and Grandad’s war time cookbook for inspiration (these are coming up soon, you’re in for a treat) and then there are times like today where I really wanted a jacket potato and beans for my lunch, but I had neither.
Enter Baked Parsnip and Masala Beans.
I have to admit, the parsnip idea came from a friend of mine Adam Purnell, also known as Shropshire Lad. Back in January, during his Veganuary challenge, Adam shared a post of a baked parsnip. GENIUS – Adam, I’m sorry I can’t find your original post to link back to – but the worst part is I can’t even remember what he topped it with so I had to be inventive! But that means you can too!
Okay get ready for this, because we’re stepping away from our usual format… (its better, I promise).
Baking a parsnip is just like baking a potato, however because you cook it for longer so you can make use of those large, woody ones. Start by scrubbing the parsnips clean, ensure you remove any dirt, but you don’t want to remove the skin. Cut away as much of the top of the root without fully cutting off the top, this will help you to remove any dirt.
Next, preheat your oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Stab each parsnip with a fork (take your anger out if needed), and place in a roasting tin. Coat with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for approximately an hour and a half.
15 minutes before they’re cooked, you’ll need to start work on the beans – I wanted baked beans, but it seems they’re a staple part of diets here in North Wales, so I had to do with what I had. The following is enough for three generous portions. I found a tin of butter beans (just in date I may add), a carton of passata and a jar of masala paste in our cupboard. I started by cooking off the masala paste in a non-stick pan, then I added about half the carton of passata to create a sauce. Drain and rinse your beans before adding them to the sauce. Heat through and if you’re lucky enough to grow your own coriander, finely chop a handful and add it in.
Remove your parsnips from the oven, cut down the middle, plate and tops with a couple of spoonfuls of the masala beans.
Switch It Up
The accessible part of this recipe is that you can swap pretty much any part of it out! Got beans? Use them! Haven’t got any paste? Use curry powder. No passata? Used tinned tomatoes, tomato soup or tomato pasta sauce. Don’t have parsnips? Use a traditional potato or halve and deseed a squash.
More importantly, stay safe, wash your hands and only go to the shops when you need the essentials!