Parsnips and carrots, then caramelize - mmmm.....

Parsnips and carrots are parboiled before being finished in butter until caramelized.
Parsnips and carrots are parboiled before being finished in butter until caramelized. TNS

Parsnip family reunion

This savory (and slightly sweet) side dish unites parsnips, carrots, parsley and cumin, all members of the Apiaceae family of mostly aromatic plants with hollow stems.

Prep: 20 minutes; cook: 30 minutes; makes: 4 to 6 servings

1 pound small parsnips (about 8), peeled, trimmed

1 pound carrots (about 6), peeled, trimmed

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

6 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley

Boil: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add whole parsnips and carrots. Cook until tender (test by poking with a fork), 15-17 minutes.

Mash: Meanwhile, using a mortar and pestle (or heavy knife) smash together garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Whisk together with orange juice, oil and lemon juice. Set aside.

Slice: When vegetables are cooked, drain. Note: Small parsnips should have tender cores about the diameter of a pencil. If you find wide, woody cores, slice the parsnip lengthwise, cut out and discard the core. Slice parsnips and carrots crosswise on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick ovals.

Caramelize: Set a wide skillet (or two) over medium heat. Melt in butter. Slide in sliced parsnips and carrots. Cook, turning now and then, until most of the slices have turned golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Deglaze: Pour in the orange juice mixture. Reduce heat to low; cook, tossing, 1 minute.

Serve: Slide everything into a serving dish. Sprinkle with parsley (and more salt and pepper if need be). Enjoy at room temperature.

By Leah Eskin, Chicago Tribune