Roasted parsnips with macadamia nut gremolata

Roasted Parsnips with Macadamia Nut Gremolata

Professional Culinary Arts student Julia Johnson shares a recipe for Thanksgiving.

As Thanksgiving nears, I wanted to share this simple and delicious side dish for your holiday table. It is inspired by a recipe for glazed carrots with hazelnut gremolata from the Level 3 curriculum of the Professional Culinary Arts program.

By Julia Johnson, Professional Culinary Arts student

When I first had the dish I was immediately hooked. The hazelnuts added such a nice crunchy texture to the otherwise traditional gremolata, which paired beautifully with the sweet, tender carrots.

At home, I decided to make my own spin on it – substituting earthy, roasted parsnips for the glazed carrots, and sweet macadamia nuts for the hazelnuts. I also chose to sauté my garlic and parsley quickly in a bit of olive oil to release their flavors, and played around a bit with the proportions of the gremolata. When finished, it turned out to be a dish that I would be proud to serve, and one that I am confident you would enjoy as well.

Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, or traveling somewhere else, I hope you give this dish a try.

Roasted parsnips recipe

Yield: serves 6 as a side (with extra gremolata)

For the parsnips:

  • 2 pounds parsnips (about 6), peeled, ends trimmed, and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt

For the gremolata:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole, raw macadamia nuts (a little less than 1/2 a pound)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt (or to taste)
  • zest of 1 lemon

For garnish:

  • 7 ounces full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the quartered parsnips on a sheet pan in one layer. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat. Roast in the oven, tossing the parsnips occasionally, until tender, about 30 – 40 minutes.

While the parsnips are roasting, prepare the gremolata: arrange the macadamia nuts in one layer on a small sheet pan. Transfer to the oven with the parsnips and allow to toast, shaking the pan a few times, until golden brown, about 7-8 minutes. (Be careful as they burn easily)! Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board to cool. Once cool, coarsely chop and transfer to a medium bowl.

Thanksgiving side dish parsnips

Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped parsley and sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to drain the excess oil and add the parsley and garlic to the bowl with the macadamia nuts. (The excess oil can be reserved for another use — it is delicious drizzled as a garnish on just about anything: pasta, crostini, hummus, mashed potatoes, you name it). Add the salt and lemon zest to the bowl and stir to combine well.

To plate: in a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Dollop onto a plate, and arrange the parsnips on top. Sprinkle the gremolata over the parsnips, and serve any extra on the side.

– Julia
Blog // Instagram

This blog post was originally published by the International Culinary Center (ICC), founded as The French Culinary Institute (FCI). In 2020, ICE and ICC came together on one strong and dynamic national platform at ICE's campuses in New York City and Los Angeles. Explore your culinary education where the legacy lives on.

Add new comment