Root Vegetable Puree with Shallots and Thyme
A medley of puréed root vegetables flavored with caramelized shallots and fresh thyme is an easy side dish that complements roast turkey, chicken or pork very nicely. This dish is easy to prepare in advance and doesn't suffer at all when reheated, so it's a good choice for entertaining.
- 6 large shallots, chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 lb purple-top turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft and aromatic, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until the shallots are golden brown, about 6 minutes more. Set aside.
Add about 1 inch of water to a large pot fitted with a steamer rack. Bring to a boil, add the carrots first, then the turnips. Cover and steam for 4 minutes, then add the parsnips. Continue cooking until all the veggies are tender when pierced with a knife, about 4 to 6 minutes more.
Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the cream. Mash slightly with a large fork. Using an electric hand blender, purée until smooth and silky (you can also use a food processor or blender). Stir in the shallot-butter mixture, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.
Makes 6 servings
To make ahead:
Prepare the recipe completely and transfer to a buttered casserole. Refrigerate up to 2 days. Cover tightly and reheat in a 325°F oven until heated through, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Parsnips take less time to cook than carrots or turnips, so be sure to add them after those other veggies have steamed for a few minutes. You can also substitute rutabaga for the turnips, but it will need longer cooking time than either the carrots or the parsnips. Adjust accordingly.