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.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.