Parsnip Polenta with Roasted Carrots

On October 13, 2015

I mostly make this dish when I want to show off.  I made it the first time I went to potluck where I knew nobody but 1 of the 5 hosts.  I made it another time for a love interest before he left on a 2-month pleasure trip around Europe.  And I made it one Thanksgiving because a family friend (who is very connected in the food & restaurant world) was coming and I had a feeling she was secretly auditioning me for something.

The beauty of this recipe is in the simplicity of the flavors–you can really taste all the ingredients in equal balance.  It also lends itself to a unique presentation.  It has people interested before they even get a taste.

parsnip & carrot polenta

Parsnip Polenta with Roasted Carrots

Servings: 4
Time: 40 minutes
What you need: 1 medium pot with lid, steamer basket, 1 large pot with lid, roasting tray, and parchment paper (recommended)

  • 1 cup of non-GMO polenta grits
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 2 medium or 1 large parsnip
  • 6-10 medium carrots
  • 2 tablespoons organic, grass-fed butter
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (optional)
  • Sea salt, to taste


Preheat your oven to 350F. Slice your carrots lengthwise in halves or quarters (depending on the width).  Place carrots on a baking tray lined with parchment paper,  season with olive oil,  salt, and pepper.  Using your hands, mix the carrots so the olive oil evenly coats the carrots.  Spread the carrots out so they all have space.  Roast for 30-35 minutes, flipping the carrots over about half way through.

In a large pot bring the vegetable broth or water up to a boil. Using a whisk, slowly stir in the polenta grits.  Season with butter, salt, and additional seasonings (if desired).  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, stirring consistently (every 5 minutes)  for about 30-40 minutes, until you reach the desired consistency.  If it bubbles and splashes, put a lid on the pot.  Taste the polenta as it’s cooking and adjust seasonings to your taste. You can add more butter, salt, pepper, or herbs.

Peel and chop the parsnips into 1/2″ chunks.  Steam them in a medium pot for about roughly 10 minutes, until easily mashed with a fork.

To assemble the dish: Mash the parsnips with a fork or potato masher.  Incorporate the parsnips evenly into the polenta.  Put the polenta into a large bowl and garnish with the roasted carrots.


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