Creamy Roasted Parsnips and Fennel

Spicy parsnips and fragrant fennel bond in a creamy, not-too-rich sauce full of fresh sage flavor. The nuts add just the right amount of texture, in this easy and quick dish that can be adapted to your tastes. Try potatoes and rutabaga with rosemary for another variation. This recipe was also featured on the California Walnuts website.

parsnips and fennel 2

Creamy Roasted Parsnips and Fennel

3 tablespoons (45mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound (454g) parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 large bulb fennel, cut into 3/4-inch slices
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3 tablespoons (45mL) sweet rice flour (see Note)
2 cups (480mL) unsweetened nondairy coconut beverage, such as So Delicious
2 tablespoons (30mL) finely chopped fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon (3mL) freshly grated nutmeg
Sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup (80mL) finely chopped toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or both

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Have an 8-inch square glass dish or 9-inch deep dish pie dish ready. Toss the parsnips and fennel with 1 tablespoon (15mL) of the olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until just starting to brown on the edges, about 25 minutes.

While the vegetables are in the oven, put the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1 3/4 cups (420mL) of the nondairy milk. Pour the remaining milk in a small bowl. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Once the mixture on the stovetop is steaming, slowly add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly, to create a smooth consistency. Add the sage, and nutmeg. Continue to whisk the mixture until it has thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until the vegetables are finished baking.

Once the vegetables are finished, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Put them in the dish. Top with the sauce mixture. Sprinkle with the nuts. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbling. Serve warm.

Note: Sweet rice flour leaves a smooth finish, perfect for sauces and gravies. It is also sold under the names “glutinous rice flour” and “mochiko”.

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