Thursday, November 22, 2007

On Snow, Parsnips and SHF

How fitting that my 100th post is about one of the most perfect days I've had in a long time! Last Sunday I went to the mountains in my friends new camper van. After an early start we arrived in Lauterbrunnen, took the gondela up and walked to Mürren. This is why I moved to Switzerland!

The weather was perfect, sunshine, blue skies and the most amazing snow I've ever seen! About 70 cm deep and covered with a layer of crystals several cm big, they were like little Christmas trees. We made a beautiful walk, played in the snow, built mini snowmen and ate lunch in the sunshine.

When it comes to walking food, I'm just not one for sandwiches. I always find that by the time you get to eat it its squashed, cold and often tasteless. Therefore, I prefer home baked lunches, preferably with nuts and cheese for lots of flavour and energy. For this walk I used parsnips as they are back in season! I developed quite a liking for this root vegetable whilst living in Scotland. Before that I'd never even seen a parsnip as they are very hard to come by. However, this year the local supermarket has started selling them as an "ancient vegetable" so we'll hopefully be eating a lot more of them. I know parsnips mostly as a savoury vegetable but they also go well with sweet (think honey roasted) flavours and I'd heard that they can also be used in cakes, like carrots, but that this somehow fell out of fashion after the WWII.

I adapted this recipe (a firm favourite for summer walks) as I wanted to make a savoury and a sweet version to take along and use some of the walnuts from my parents garden. They were a great success. For the savoury I used gruyere, walnuts and fresh herbs (rosemary, sage and thyme), whereas the sweet ones had raisins, nuts, nutmeg and ginger. Both yummy and with lots of energy to keep me going on the walk, hopefully the season will be good, there will be many trips and I can make them loads. This post my entry for this months sugar high friday - The Beta Carotene Harvest - hosted by Definitely not Martha

Sweet or Savoury Parsnip Muffins (makes 6)

1 cup flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3 eggs
2 parsnip - grated
1 tbsp creme fraiche
1/2 cup vegetable oil

60g raisins
60g walnuts - chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger

60g gruyere - grated
60g walnuts - chopped
2 tbsp fresh herbs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the over to 180°C, in a large bowl, mix the creme fraiche, oil and eggs. Then stir in the flour and grated parsnip. Finally, add the extra fillings and the spices. Or at this point you can divide the mix in two and make both (make sure to halve the amounts given above). Pour the mixture into buttered molds and top with either raisins or walnuts. Cook for 30 min or until a needle comes out clean. Leave to cool and enjoy!


Di said...

It sounds like a perfect day out! I am so jealous of seeing all that snow (and sun!) I wanna move to Switzerland!!

The Big Finn said...

I'm glad you opted to take the gondola, instead of the camper van, up into the mountains.

Ann said...

What a great flavor combination... parsnips and gruyere! It's a party in the mouth!

Ann at Redacted Recipes

Sophie said...

Hi :),

We would like to feature your sweet and savoury muffins on our blog and possibly our digital-recipe reader, too.

Please email if interested. Thanks :)

You can read more here: