Roasting parsnips brings out their lovely par-snippiness, but the texture can be gluey (at least, when I roast them). Thankfully, a little bit of parsnip goes a long way. So after my roast-parsnip pudding turned out to be parsnip "bread," I cooked up this extremely simple non-roasted puree, which made me very happy and which I'd like to eat every day. (Trial and error; victory and defeat, etc.) Apple sauteed with onion reminds me of Southern style fried apples; it's a combination that's lovely with parsnip. And the juicy apples give the dish a saucier attitude and texture than plain parsnip. Serving it with super simple frico (you can serve the crisp parmesan wafers on the side, or slip one into each serving, like a fancy person) might seem insanely unnecessary. So be it. —EmilyNunn
Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, mix together cheese and flour, with a bit of pepper if you like. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil, lightly oiled. Drop heaping tablespoons of mixture onto cookie sheet, flattening with a spoon, about two inches apart. Bake until lightly brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before removing with spatula.
In a small skillet, sautee onion in butter over medium high heat until golden and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add apples; cook until very tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large pot, combine carrots and parsnips in water to cover by one inch; simmer until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid, and let cool slightly.
Combine vegetables with apple-onion mixture in blender or food processor; add about 1/2 cup of apple cider, cream, Parmesan cheese (if using), salt, pepper. Puree until smooth, adding extra cider or cooking liquid, if necessary. Reheat gently in a saucepan, until very warm. Serve with frico.