Follow the Leader: It’s All in the Twirl


Last summer I snagged an invite to a Bon Appetit book signing party for their 770-page Fast Easy Fresh. While juggling Sweetgreen‘s froyo in one hand, a glass of wine in another, and this book in between my arm and my boob, I made my way over to Barbara Fairchild for a signature.  We briefly chatted about my oven’s inability to keep heat and then I was off, lugging this book back to my apartment, wondering where to fit this thick, heavy dead tree.

And that was the last time I touched the book. Until Monday’s dinner. I pulled Bon App and Gourmet’s March 2009 mags, plus this monster.

I had one ingredient in mind: parsnips. Ever since my pizza laced with parsnips, I’ve been wanting to cook them myself. Fast Easy Fresh had one parsnip recipe. It was bullshit.

It told me to peel the parsnips, cut them, season with oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 for 35 minutes. HOW IS THAT A RECIPE. That is crap. That is not interesting. That is not creative. It is not worthy of half a page. Bon App – I turn to you for inspiration. I could have found this on some generic site.

I roasted them anyway, cut in coins, with the addition of Herbs de Provence. But this was only part of my ad hoc meal. And actually the least important.

Ricotta-ed Spinach with Noodle Onions and Parsnips

The past few months all I want to eat is pasta. I realize that is probably not the best choice. Every. Night. What I like best about eating pasta, okay, not best, but also something I crave, is spinning the noodles around my fork. I just love the act of twirling. Which is funny because in real life I’m so prone to being dizzy that I can’t even ride a Merry-Go-Round. And the Gravitron. Holy shit. I vividly remember puking out strands of pasta from earlier that night after I got off that suction cup spin ride. Ugh.

Anyway, back to the deliciousness of pasta. Or things I could spin around my fork to pretend I’m eating pasta.

I sliced an onion into rounds, leaving them long and thin. I cooked them down, slow and low, with both butter and oil. When the onions were crazy soft, I tossed in 5 chopped garlic cloves (more butter) and then roughly chopped fresh spinach. Once wilted I seasoned it all with salt and pepper and then added in two large spoonfuls of ricotta, for a creaming effect. This was topped with the herbs de provence roasted parsnips.

Twirl the onions like pasta.

(Happy Birthday, SAG)

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  • tvff March 16, 2010  

    I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered parsnips…I always have a weird aversion to root vegetables until I actually try them. Not sure what that’s all about.

    Next time you get your hands on some parsnips, give this Jamie Oliver recipe a try. It’s pasta with parsnips and pancetta. You want to get the parsnips really thin and fry them up well, though, because if they’re thick they end up coming out a little like boiled carrots.

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