So I've been trying to up my cooking/plating game.

I see that in many Michelin Star restaurants it's almost a meme to plate some protein on a vegetable 'puree' base, put some flowers and greens on top, and maybe some herb oil.

So I found some parsnips in the store, and I made a parsnip puree after looking at a couple of youtube videos.

I basically used ~500g Parsnips, 4 chopped cloves of garlic, ~365ml Half and Half, and ~50g Butter, along with a bit of salt. After bringing it all to a boil, I simmered it until the parsnips were fork-tender and simply blitzed it in a blender until I got a smooth puree.

I served this by putting some sautee'd fish on top. Very simple just to see how the flavor combo worked.

I think I messed up by using Parsnip Puree instead of Cauliflower Puree - the parsnips are pretty earthy. While it worked with the fish, it wasn't as smooth as I would have liked.

It's definitely easy to play around with on the plate for nice platings/smears, but I'm just not sure if I love the flavor by itself. Very earthy - I mean, it tastes like parsnips - so I'm wondering how to fix this.

Should I add something crazy into it like a fortified chicken broth/demi glace?

Is it better with meats?

Does it need to go with an acidic sauce?

Any ideas?

  • 2
    Sorry, Mikhail...opinion based Q&A doesn't work well on Seasoned Advice. – moscafj Oct 5 '20 at 21:08
  • To clarify Moscafj: you are requesting responses that are pure opinion. There is no way to have a "right" answer. For more, see: cooking.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask – FuzzyChef Oct 5 '20 at 22:26
  • @moscafj : although "pairing" questions are frowned upon, he's stated that he has a problem (puree is too earthy) and has asked for what to add to it to make it more palatable. If he were asking about it as fixing a single recipe, and not as a pairing, that would be acceptable. – Joe Oct 5 '20 at 22:36
  • @Joe many posts can be edited to fit the context of the site. If the OP starts with the heading/initial question, then rephrases the issue in terms of your suggestions, I would agree with your assessment. – moscafj Oct 5 '20 at 22:48
  • @moscafj : I'm not going to argue that it's a good question -- it's kinda all over the place. But even a sub-par question can be answered politely when the general intent is known. I view it as trying to build a community vs. being an arbitrary gatekeeper – Joe Oct 6 '20 at 12:53

It doesn't even necessarily need to be a "pairing" but something that you can add to your existing puree to improve it.

I think you're on the right track with acid -- it's often overlooked in how it can brighten up otherwise dull & muddy flavors. You might try adding some lemon juice, vinegar, or even a prepared mustard.

I generally don't cook only turnips, so I'm not sure what's best in this case ... I'll do a variety of root vegetables, like carrots, potatoes, turnips, and onions. You can also look to recipes like colcannon or stamppot and mix in some cooked dark greens. You can then serve it with or mix in some sort of processed pork product like cooked sausage, bacon, or ham. (I wouldn't go with just any type of meat ... I think the salt & maybe the fat are the key here, as both can help mask bitter flavors).

If you're boiling the vegetables to make a mash, I'll also toss in a few garlic cloves, and mash them in with everything else. After the fact, you might try mixing in some chives or if it's still hot, some finely minced scallions or shallots (so they're cooked slightly in the hot mash)

You might also look to where the puree / mash is used as an ingredient in some other dish ... I would think that a shepherd's pie / cottage pie could be really good with a turnip puree on top.

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