I seem to get into ruts when making vegetables, so am always on the lookout for recipes for some of the less common vegetables. When I saw a recipe for Parsnips with Drawn Butter Sauce in a hundred-year-old cookbook, I decided to give it a try.
The recipe turned out well. The sweet, nutty, earthly parsnips were cut into strips about 2-inches long and cooked, and then embedded in a rich, buttery sauce.
I was surprised that the old recipe for the Drawn Butter Sauce called for water and flour. Today, Drawn Butter is generally just a clarified butter – but apparently it was a thickened butter and water sauce a hundred years ago.
When I made this recipe, I made half a recipe for the drawn butter sauce. I used hot water rather than fish stock. I peeled the parsnips rather than scraping them. (Does anyone scrape parsnips – or carrots for that matter – anymore?)
Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:
Parsnips with Drawn Butter Sauce
1 pound parsnips (about 4 medium parsnips)
1 teaspoon salt + 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Peel parsnips and cut into pieces two inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Put in a saucepan, cover with water; add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil using high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender.
Melt half of the butter in a saucepan using medium heat; stir in the flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Gradually add the hot water while stirring constantly. Bring to a boil while continuing to stir, reduce heat and continue to stir while the mixture slowly boils for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining butter and the lemon juice. Immediately remove from heat and pour the sauce over the cooked parsnips. Gently stir to combine.