James Beard's Pureed Parsnips
- 3 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for boiling
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup (1 to 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more unmelted for top
- 3 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Madeira
- 2 tablespoons coarse dry bread crumbs or finely chopped nuts
Place parsnips in a large saucepan; add enough water to cover. Generously salt water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer; simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Puree parsnips in a food processor or food mill. If using a processor, take care not to overprocess or they will become gluey.
Transfer pureed parsnips to a large bowl; whisk in salt, sugar, melted butter, heavy cream, and Madeira.
Spoon parsnip mixture into a 1-quart baking dish. Dot top with butter and sprinkle with breadcrumbs or chopped nuts. Bake 20 to 30 minutes. Serve.