Gorgonzola, Leek and Toasted Walnut Parsnips

Wednesday 4 December 2013

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My friend Elly has the most beautiful recipe for Parsnips that I have been using for many years, Parsnips with Gorgonzola.   It always turns out delicious and it is something which I frequently  served with roast beef when I cooked at the manor.  They loved it.  It's a dish that always goes down really well.

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It makes a fabulous side dish for dinner parties or the holidays.  I charged it up a little bit this time when I made it by adding some toasted walnuts and using leeks instead of spring onions.  It turned out  to be just gorgeous. 

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 You get the  buttery almost sweet creaminess, with caramlized edges of the parsnips . . . then the sharp herbiness of the leeks, the toasty crunch from the walnuts, and then that rich creamy tang from the gorgonzola cheese.  All making happy noises and feelings in your mouth.  So much tastiness!

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The only way they could even possibly be any tastier would be if you drizzled them with some honey perhaps . . . oh, boy.  I'm going to do that next time, I am, I am!  Enjoy!

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*Gorgonzola, Leek and Toasted Walnut Parsnips*
Serves 4 to 6
This is an adaptation to my good friend Elly's recipe for Parsnips.   These are delicious.

2 pounds of parsnips, peeled
3  TBS butter
1 leek, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
(white and light green parts only)
a handful of broken walnut meats
freshly groudn black pepper
200g (7 ounces) crumbled gorgonzola cheese

Cook the parsnips, leaving them whole if possible, in lightly salted water until tender.  (I had to cut mine into equal sizes ad they were on the large side.  Just cut in half  width wise, then cut the larger bit into quarters and the bottom thinner bit in half.)  This should take 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your parsnips.  Drain well.  If you have left them whole, cut them in half lengthwise.

Melt 2 TBS of the butter in a large skillet.  Add the parsnips in one layer and lightly brown them on all sides.  Arrange them in a lightly buttered baking dish, fitting them in snugly.  Wipe the pan out and then melt the remaining butter and heat until it begins to foam.  Add the sliced leek and walnuts.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the leeks are soft and the walnuts lightly toasted.   Scatter this over top of the parsnips in the dish.   Crumble the gorgonzola over top.  (This much can be done ahead the day before if you wish)

When you are ready to cook them, preheat the oven to 220*C/450*F/ gas mark 8.  Pop the dish of parsnips in and bake until the cheese is very lightly browned, 10 to 13 minutes.

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This recipe gave me the perfect opportunity to use some of that Divo Italiano Cubed Gorgonzola P.D.O.  Piccante that I was sent.    It has such a nice bite and beautiful creaminess.  It was a Gold award winner at the Nantwich International Cheese Awards 2013, a P.D.O. Italian blue cheese without any rind which means nothing goes to waste. Packaged in a convenient pre-cubed format, it is the first to market in this format for Gorgonzola cheese. It is matured for up to 90 days in natural caves in Northern Italy to give it a sharp, spicy (‘piccante’ in Italian) flavour and creamy texture. It makes a delicious match with ripe pears and walnuts tossed into rocket leaves, melted on pizza, or used to make an indulgent cooking sauce.  You can buy it at Morrisons and via Ocado.


  1. I have never seen this dish..I bet it IS a fave~

  2. I've made that parsnip dish of yours several times to rave reviews, so I'm sure this will be just as delicious. Parsnips are a good price at the moment and it's always nice to be able to serve something a little different and surprising. Yum!


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