White sauce and golden buttered breadcrumbs lend elegance to parsnips in this dish. Use a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish or a gratin dish to get the most surface area for the crisp topping. Serve with roast beef or, for a vegetarian meal, with a big salad and bread.
2 pounds (1-inch-thick) slices peeled parsnip
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
1 tablespoon butter, melted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Place parsnip in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer over medium heat 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place the parsnip in a bowl, and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add flour, stirring to coat onions. Gradually add 1/2 cup milk, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Add the remaining milk; cook over medium heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add milk mixture and sage to mashed parsnip, and stir to combine. Place the parsnip mixture in a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Combine breadcrumbs and butter, and sprinkle evenly over parsnip mixture. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until golden brown.