This Rustic Autumn Parsnip & Purple Potato Mash is creamy, buttery, savory and seriously delicious! With a pretty purple hue, slight sweetness from the addition of parsnips and earthy undertones of thyme, these mashed potatoes are a fun spin on the classic!
We are going to continue in our thinking outside of the Thanksgiving cornucopia (see Turkey Roulade)… and take it a step further.
I really wanted to share something unique and special with you. Something you could proudly bring to your Turkey Table. But, not anything too crazy…like maple bacon mashed potato doughnuts. Because I was aiming for ‘different’, I needed the dish to be spectacular in the taste department. So you didn’t think I had completely lost my mind. I mean, we must have some culinary method behind all this madness.
Therefore, I wanted to stay within the traditional lines of mashed potatoes, while jazzing it up and giving it a little culinary intrigue. So the mash had to be creamy. Non-negotiable there. It had to have potatoes. Obviously, right? Other than that I felt I had free range to come up with something novice, but notably worthy of your table.
So I started where I always do for inspiration. By roaming aimlessly around the produce section of my favorite grocery stores. Culinary creativity struck when I saw the bags of purple celebration potatoes. It was all over from there, I had my idea. I knew what I was going to do. I was going to make you these – Rustic Autumn Parsnip and Purple Potato Mash.
These mashed potatoes are seriously sooo dreamily delicious. Even Boy, lover of fake in the box potatoes (culinary blasphemy, I know!), declared these potatoes a winner. Creamy, buttery, savory… with earthy undertones from the thyme, slight sweetness from the addition of parsnips and a hint of onion flavor from the leeks.
These ‘taters melt perfectly, almost becoming one with your mouth. Literally, I could have ate the entire dang serving bowl. But, I did not think my waistline would have been a fan of that action.
I did, however, happily shovel heaping spoonfuls into my mouth while perfecting the recipe. What? I have to taste test! And I have to do it in large portion sizes… just to make absolutely sure the flavor and texture is on point.
Anyways, back to the mashed potatoes… A great thing about purple potatoes, aside from their vibrant color, is you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) peel them. This not only saves you time in the kitchen, you also get more nutrients. Winner, winner these are perfect for your turkey day dinner!
Since the skins remain on, I went for a more rustic feel and taste by not totally mashing all the ingredients into oblivion. But if you want a silky smooth mashed potato, by all means, peel and mash your little heart out!
Also, I did add parsnips for added depth of flavor. When mashed they almost replicate the taste of a potato, just slightly sweeter. I feel like parsnips are underrated… which is a shame because they are quite delicious. But, you can fix that by making this Rustic Autumn Parsnip and Purple Potato Mash! Yay!!
I know you want to tuck into a big bowl of these dreamy, creamy, buttery rustic mashed potatoes on turkey day. Or any other day of the week for that matter. So I will stop babbling on, let you print this recipe and get to the store. Hope you enjoy!
Rustic Mashed Parsnips & Purple Potatoes
- 1 Head Garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , room temperature, divided (plus more for serving)
- 1 small leeks , white parts only - washed well, thinly sliced crosswise then finely diced
- 1 pound parsnips - peeled, cut into ½ - 1’’ pieces
- 1 pound celebration blend potatoes - cut into 1’’ pieces (can substitute red skin, fingerling or Yukon gold)
- 4 Whole Sprigs Thyme - washed, plus more for garnish
- 3/4 cup Heavy Cream (can substitute Half and Half)
- Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper , to taste
- 2 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Stock *
- Roast the garlic: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top off of the head of garlic. Place the head of garlic on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Wrap garlic up tightly in the foil. Place the garlic package directly on the center oven rack and roast for 40 – 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Remove head of garlic from the foil and squeeze the roasted cloves out of the skins into a ramekin or a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan add: Half and Half, 2 tablespoons butter, whole sprigs of thyme and roasted garlic. Bring contents to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and allow flavors to seep together, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile: In a large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add leeks and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
- Add parsnips, potatoes, chicken stock* and enough cold water to cover vegetables by 2’’, and enough salt to make the stock and water as salty as the ocean; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until parsnips and potatoes are very tender but still hold their shape, about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Drain vegetables in a colander. Return vegetables to pot and place over low heat to allow the potatoes and parsnips to dry out slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove sprigs of thyme from milk/butter and discard. DO NOT discard the garlic cloves!
- Add the leeks and milk mixture with the garlic cloves* to the pot. Smash the mixture with a potato masher, or the back of a wooden spoon, to combine ingredients and mash until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves. Serve Hot.
*Garlic can be roasted, removed from skin, placed in a covered container and stored in the refrigerator for a week in advance.
*Chicken stock adds a lot of flavor to the potatoes, but you can substitute all water if desired.
*If not serving potatoes immediately, place saucepan over low heat and cover until ready to serve, gently stirring occasionally. Nutritional information is an approximation based upon 6 servings.