One of the fastest and most delicious ways to cook root vegetables is to let them steam on the stovetop in a small amount of flavorful liquid, then let that liquid reduce to a glaze.
Here, the liquid used is mirin, a sweet rice wine used in Japanese cooking. Choose a golden-colored mirin for the best flavor.
- 1 tablespoon mild olive or vegetable oil
- 3 scallions, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced crosswise (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 to 3 teaspoons minced ginger root
- 1 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 1/3 cup mirin
- 1/3 cup water
- Pinch salt
Heat the oil in a saucepan just large enough to hold the parsnips over medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the scallions and cook for 2 minutes, until they soften. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute, then add the parsnips and stir to combine. Add the mirin, water and salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and quickly cover the pan; adjust the heat to medium or as needed so the liquid stays at a steady but controlled boil. After 6 minutes, begin checking the parsnips. They are done when they can be easily pierced with a fork, but they should not be mushy. The cooking time will depend on the size of the pieces; it should take 8 to 10 minutes.
Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for a minute or two, until the liquid reduces to a glaze. Transfer the parsnips and glaze to a serving dish. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of sliced scallions. Serve hot.
From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
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