February 9, 2011

Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Tart

Parsnips look like anemic carrots, but don't let their looks fool you. They are sweet, creamy and delicious and have become one of my favorite veggies. A one-cup serving has only 100 calories and a whopping 6.5g of dietary fiber. It's high in vitamin C, which is good news for those of you who rely on it to keep winter colds at bay.
Although they can be eaten raw, when it comes to cooking, parsnips are very versatile. They can be boiled, roasted, baked, fried or cooked and pureed for soup. The sweet flavor of parsnips marries well with sweet potatoes, carrots and apples. 

I love caramelized onions and as soon as I saw this recipe I knew where my parsnips were headed. 

The crust for this tart is the easiest thing ever. A mix of melted butter, vegetable oil, water, sugar, salt and flour are combined to make a dough that is pressed into the tart pan with your hands. No need to roll out dough for this tart! It came out beautifully crisp and held up well when removed from the pan for cutting.
If you haven't made friends with parsnips yet, I hope you'll give them a try!

Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Tart - Adapted from here.

The crust was made first using this recipe.

For the filling:
1 ¼ cups milk
½ cup Cheddar cheese, grated
2 T butter
3 onions, sliced
1# parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
3 eggs

Preheat to 350° F.

Melt butter in frying pan and add onions.  Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, until golden and caramelized.  Cut any woody centers out of the parsnips and discard. Cook the parsnips in boiling water for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Drain well and put into a bowl. Mash until smooth.

Beat the eggs and milk together and stir in half the cheese, season and stir in the onions and parsnips. Pour the mixture into the tart pan and scatter the remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until just set in the middle. Remove from the tin and serve warm with a crisp green salad.


  1. I will admit I don't really like them, but will also add that I have not given them much of a chance. With caramalized onions, this sounds favorable.

  2. I love root veggies!! And onions. This looks so good, that even if you didn't like that stuff it would be worth trying.

  3. Is it just me, or does $2.99/pound seem like a lot for slightly withered parsnips? That's what we have here in So. Cal. :( They're so old that the vegetable guy at the grocery keeps cutting off the new green growth on the parsnip tops! Not appetizing.
    Your recipe sounds wonderful! I'll have to try a farmers market and see if I can't scare up some fresher and possibly less expensive parsnips. Really enjoy your blog and recipes! Thank you!

  4. Ohhhh Karen my dear this looks delicious and i love caramelized onions too. I have to try this recipe.

    Kisses and thank you for your comments in my blog.

  5. Another lover of caramelized onions AND parsnips here! I make baked parsnip fries, roast parsnips. This looks wonderful and is now on my list!

  6. They do look like anemic carrots, don't they? But I agree that they're marvelously sweet and are perfect companions for onions. That tart looks sensational, Karen!

  7. Karen, I never had parsnip...but this tart looks so yummie with the caramelized onions...

  8. I love parsnips and no one ever does anything with them...so thanks for the recipe!

  9. I have never eaten a parsnip and for the life of me, I don't know why. I'm going to have to give them a chance now that you've explained them a bit. Thanks!

  10. I am such a parsnip fan I actually find them beautiful. What a gem you've created here. Dare I say you made parsnips sexy? Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.

  11. We love parsnips & carmelized onions too! This looks deleicious Karen.. Are the parsnips from your garden? xoxo HVD too!

  12. My mother used to cook parsnips all the time when I was a child but for some reason I shy away from them in the market unless I'm making stew. Your tart looks fantastic, Karen, and I can't wait to try it. I'm making more meatless meals this year and this is a great addition to my recipe file.

  13. I don't really cook with parsnips much although I do love them! This sounds like a delicious tart.

  14. My fresh garden parsnips are going to love this recipe!

  15. I have only eaten parsnips in the past year or so. I never thought they looked good enough to even fool with. However, once I put some in with other vegetables I was roasting, I was hooked. I love their mild and slightly sweet taste in mashed potatoes or on their own. I will certainly be putting this on our table--probably later this week since tomorrow is grocery shopping day.


  16. I don't think I've ever tried a parsnip but considering my unyielding love for most root veggies it would be well worth giving them a shot! This sounds fantastic. Bet all this baking is keeping you warm in your very chilly weather my friend!

  17. I've never tried parsnips before...but you have just inspired me. Your pictures are amazing and the recipe seems straight forward. I'll let you know how it goes!


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