roasted parsnips and beetroot w goat's cheese
It mightn’t look like it today, but summer is on the way and this week we had what I reckon might be the last of the parsnips so I thought a dish with them was in order. Like all roots, they are beautiful roasted especially with a drizzle of honey and maybe a splash of balsamic. Do them with beets and carrots and you have a gorgeous  side that will do any roast proud.

More usual in our house though, is the vegetarian route and last night was no exception – I made honey roasted beets and parsnips then a lightly dressed warm lemon cous cous salad with toasted sunflower seeds and some baked goat’s cheese .It’s a combination that’s easy to prepare and always goes down a storm.

I think the best way to go is to  boil the vegetables first (separately or everything will go pink and it is nice to have the 2 colours) so the roasting doesn’t take too long. This way, once the veg is in the oven you’ll have enough time to do the cous cous, slice the goat’s cheese and of course have at least one glass of wine.

Roasted parsnips and beetroot

Balsamic Roasted Beetroot and Parsnips (for 2)

You’ll need:

600gr Parsnips

600gr Beetroot

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar


Start with your beetroot as they’ll take the longest. Wash but don’t peel them or all their lovely colour will leech out. Cover in water and bring to the boil then simmer til done (ie until you can easily stick a knife through them). This will take anything from 40 minutes to an hour for really big bulbs. When they’re ready take them off the heat, drain and allow to cool slightly. Peel and cut each Beetroot into quarters or eighths depending on the size.

While the beetroot are cooking, you can get on with the parsnips. Wash, peel and cut into chunks or lengths. Boil in salted water until tender (this should take about 15 minutes).

When the vegetables are ready, heat your oven to Gas mark 6 or 200 degrees and warm some olive oil on 2 non stick baking trays (roast the veg separately too to avoid turning the parsnips pink). When the oil is hot, add your veg along with a generous drizzle of honey.  Toss well then put in the oven. After about 25 minutes toss again to make sure things cook evenly. Return to the oven and roast for another 25 minutes, then add a dash of balsamic vinegar, toss and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until everything has carmelized nicely. Season with salt and pepper and they’re ready to serve.

The Cous  Cous and baked Goat’s Cheese

You’ll need:

Cous Cous

Sunflower Seeds

Lemon Juice

Olive Oil

2 rounds Chevre Goat’s Cheese about 1 inch thick

Rosemary or thyme

Olive oil

Prepare enough cous cous for 2 and dress with some nice olive oil and lemon juice. Toast some sunflower seeds on a dry pan and throw them in.

The baked goat’s cheese is simple -drizzle with olive oil and top with herbs (I used thyme) then bake the rounds on a tray for about 8 minutes. When you think the veg is starting to caramelize, throw them into the oven and everything will be ready together. If you want to make things really special marinate the cheese in oil with some rosemary and thyme a la Alice Waters. This can be done the day before and really brings up the flavour of the herbs in the cheese.

In case you were wondering……..

The leaves in your bag with white stalks are pak Choy and they should be steamed or stirfried with garlic and ginger. The other leaves are  baby(ish) Wicklow spinach 

Hope you enjoy the recipes, have a great week,



We’re into September and it’s that  in-between time vegwise. There are still lots of courgettes, tomatoes and peppers around but the earthier varieties are starting to appear. New season carrots, butternuts and this week parsnips. The weather’s a bit in-betweeny aswell. One minute splitting the stones, the next blustery with showers. You don’t know whether to fire up the barbecue or make soup! I’m not ready for soup, it’d be like admitting what’s to come and I’m still in denial. 

This week’s salad is with ramiro pepper (soon to be a thing of seasons past) and parsnips (a definite taste of things to come). I roasted both then tossed them with chickpeas and added a dash of vinegar to give a little bite to all that sweetness. The pesto with some parsley, garlic and pinenuts was really just a kind of a kind of chunky dressing. I ate mine with cous cous but I think rice would work and it’s a dish that’s crying out to be served with lamb……..

A salad of roast parsnips, red peppers and chickpeas with a garlic and parsley pesto

You’ll need:

700gr parsnips

1 red pepper (ramiro or bell)

1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds

Olive oil

A handful chickpeas (about 100gr)

Red wine vinegar

The pesto:

A large handful parsley destemmed and roughly chopped

1 fat clove garlic roughly chopped

8(ish) tablespoons olive oil

1 heaped tablespoon pinenuts

A generous pinch Maldon salt crushed

Begin by slicing the pepper into strips. Toss them into a roasting dish with some olive oil and then into a medium oven (Gas mark 5) for about 30 minutes. Peel the parsnips and cut to the size of chunky chips. Bring to the boil, drain then toss in olive oil in a second dish along with the cumin. Put the parsnips into the oven alongside the peppers. Roast the lot for another half an hour. You can get on with the pesto by either blasting all the ingredients in a small blender or pounding everything with a morter and pestle.You don’t want it too smooth so doing it by hand works well.

When the 30 minutes are up check the veg. The peppers will definitely be ready but if the parsnips haven’t changed colour give them a few more minutes to turn a nice golden brown. When they’re ready toss with the peppers and chickpeas. Dress with some crushed Maldon and a little red wine vinegar. You don’t need oil as there’s already some on them from the roasting.

To serve either mix the pesto through the salad or serve it alongside as I did.