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Mashed potatoes with a parsnip twist

for The Brooklyn Paper

Everyone loves roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and the parsnips add a subtle sweetness that I adore. The toasted breadcrumbs sprinkled on just before serving may be gilding the lily, but I love the buttery crunch it lends to the creamy mash.

Parsnip and Potato Mash with Roasted Garlic and Toasted Breadcrumbs

Makes 12 servings

For the roasted garlic cream

24 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup best quality breadcrumbs, unseasoned

1 clove of peeled garlic, minced

2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into two-inch pieces

1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into one-inch pieces

1 tablespoon kosher salt

Center a rack in the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the 24 garlic cloves in a small baking dish. Drizzle one tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil over the garlic, and season with 1/8 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the garlic is soft and golden. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, butter, one teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and heat until the mixture is hot and the butter is melted. Add the roasted garlic cloves and puree with an immersion blender until smooth (alternatively, you can puree the mixture in a blender until smooth). Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator up to five days or until ready to use.

Heat the remaining olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs, minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Toast while stirring until golden, about three minutes. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature until just before serving.

On the day of serving, place the potatoes and parsnips in a medium-large pot. Cover with cold water and add one tablespoon salt. Bring the potatoes to a boil, over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer and cook until very tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain well and return to pot (keep very warm).

Meanwhile, reheat the garlic cream until hot over medium heat, but do not boil. Pour the hot garlic cream over the still warm potatoes and mash to desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Sprinkle the toasted garlic breadcrumbs over the top just before serving.

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