Spicy parsnips and fragrant fennel bond in a creamy, not-too-rich sauce full of fresh sage flavor. The nuts add just the right amount of texture, in this easy and quick dish that can be adapted to your tastes. Try potatoes and rutabaga with rosemary for another variation. To make it a one-dish meal, add some greens and crumbled tofu. Trust me.
Note: Sweet rice flour leaves a smooth finish, perfect for sauces and gravies. It is also sold under the names “glutinous rice flour” and “mochiko”. —Laurie15
6 as a side dish
good quality extra-virgin olive oil, divided
parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
fennel bulb, sliced into 3/4-inch pieces
shallots, finely chopped
garlic clove, finely chopped
sweet rice flour
unsweetened nondairy coconut beverage (not coconut milk in the can)
finely chopped fresh sage
freshly grated nutmeg
Sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
finely chopped, toasted hazelnuts and walnuts
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Have an 8-inch square glass dish or 9-inch deep dish pie dish ready.
Toss the parsnips and fennel with 1 tablespoon (15mL) of the olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until just starting to brown on the edges, about 25 minutes.
While the vegetables are in the oven, put the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add 1 3/4 cups (420mL) of the nondairy milk. Pour the remaining milk in a small bowl. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Once the mixture on the stovetop is steaming, slowly add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, whisking constantly, to create a smooth consistency.
Add the sage, and nutmeg. Continue to whisk the mixture until it has thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until the vegetables are finished baking.
Once the vegetables are finished, lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Put them in the dish. Top with the sauce mixture. Sprinkle with the nuts. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until bubbling. Serve warm.