Parsnip Pear Purée ♥ Recipe

Today's vegetable recipe: An unusual side dish, a purée of a vegetable and a fruit, here parsnips and pears mellowed with cognac, sour cream and allspice.

Parsnip Pear Purée. Say that three times, fast. Pppppp. Now join me in wondering how to make something that looks so plain -- it's just a blob of white stuff, right? -- look as pretty as it tastes. Perhaps a plump piece of pork perched upon top? and prepared for a party? Enough with the Ps. This stuff is good.

It is also one of the most unusual savory side dishes I've ever tasted -- still, it's not 'weird'. (We know how people hate weird, right? Me too.) Mostly, you take a taste and wonder, What is that? Is it nutmeg? No, it's sweeter than nutmeg, something almost fruity.

It's also a great way to use up a surfeit of pears, 12 pounds of bruised-looking but otherwise perfect fruits purchased over the weekend for $.89. Any ideas on what to do with the rest of those pears?


Hands-on time: 15 minutes hands-on plus occasional attention throughout
Time to table: 35 minutes
Makes 2 cups

1 pound parsnips, peeled, trimmed, cut into pieces roughly the same size

2 tablespoons butter
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon cognac or a liqueur (I used marsala)
3 tablespoons sour cream (I used Greek yogurt)
1/8 teaspoon allspice
Salt & pepper to taste

Cover the parsnips with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter on MEDIUM. Add the pears and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cognac and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, allspice and salt and pepper.

In a food processor, process the drained parsnips and the pears until smooth. Taste an adjust seasonings.

Usually, I recommend removing the woody core from parsnips but that's not necessary here, thanks to the cooking and the puréeing.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. You can turn this puree into a soup, or use the pears in chutney, which will keep for months.

  2. Sounds GREAT! I have tried to make a similar cauliflower puree for the longest time, but haven't been successful in flavor or texture. Perhaps this one will finally satisfy my craving.

  3. how delicious! i never would have thought to put the two together.

  4. I'll say that does look unassuming (really plain, even borders ugly) BUT I can see from the ingredient list it's going to pack a pow of a taste punch!

  5. Lydia ~ Aii, yes, a soup, that would help drop the calorie count too.

    Chris ~ Perhaps you'd like my Lighter Mashed 'Potatoes'? Let me know!

    VeggieVixen ~ They're a 'pair'! :-)

    Tanna ~ Ugly? I seem to be the queen of ugly food recently! But POW, yes.

  6. Really unusual combo, looking forward to trying this out. Thanks

  7. Desserts! You can bake the pears like apples, simmer them in port, or make a tart. (An almond flavored tart is especially good.) Or clafoutis!

    Pears are fantastic on salads, too.

    For long-keeping, you can make pear sauce (like apple sauce) and freeze the extra. Baked pears (halves or cubes) will freeze reasonably well too, but be sure to freeze them on a baking sheet so they don't stick together.

    And I am just salivating over this one:

  8. Looks interesting, lucky buy on the pears....I would make pear muffins or bread and then freeze those. Also throw all the makings for pear butter in a crockpot and simmer alllllllllllll day. Smell!

  9. I've made a pear and cranberry crisp before...I think it's a Marth Stewart recipe, but if you google it, you'll fine several variations. I've made it many times, especially when cranberries are in season.

  10. That's an interesting combination; I would not have thought of it! Pears always make great desserts,or maybe add to some apples for apple/pear sauce?

  11. Sounds interesting...I think we will give it a try. As for the pears....what about pear butter. YUM! You can make it in the crockpot with very little effort.

  12. That sounds great. It might be a good choice for this weekend and celebrating ST. Patrick's day. Should we add green food color ;)

  13. Make up a batch of pear-butter (ie: think apple butter) Here's a link:

    Or ... just use them to be dehydrated into fruit leather.


  14. Parsnip Pear Mash Raw Food Recipe

    3 Pears
    4 Parsnips (Peeled)
    1/4 Chopped Onion
    Cinnamon to taste
    Sea Salt to taste
    Water for consistency

    Add everything to the blender and add some water. Blend. Add more water if needed. Enjoy!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna