Moving several steps upward from the dubious delights of an après booze kebab, I recently ended up drunkenly dining in the second floor restaurant at Harvey Nichols, after something of a sprawling evening guzzling muchos alcohol.
The meal was fine, what I can remember of it, but one dish in particular caught my constantly shifting, blurred focus. From the sides section of the menu, roasted coconut and ginger parsnips. Now, normally I’d say don’t f*ck with my parsnips, but my guard was down, I was drunk and I ordered them. Surprisingly (for me) the coconut, ginger and lime worked really well with the sweetness of the parsnips, they were absolutely frigging delicious.
Happily, my pal, Jemma, had enough wits about her to ask for the recipe and received a scribbled note from the kitchen giving just enough instruction that, when combined with a quick internet search for similar recipes allowed me to reproduce more or less the same dish in my own kitchen. Oh yeah.
You need the creamed coconut that comes in a block for this, not a tin of coconut milk, which you will be unable to grate *slaps forehead*
Roast coconut and ginger parsnips
5 parsnips, peeled
40g creamed coconut
5cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Grated zest ½ lime
Vegetable oil for roasting
Heat the oven to 190C
Quarter or half the parsnips (depending on size) and cook in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes, then drain.
Grate the creamed coconut into a bowl, add the ginger, chillies and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add 2-3 tablespoons of hot water and stir together until you have a paste.
It’ll probably be a bit clumpy so blitz it in a blender if you think it needs it. Finally stir in the lime zest.
Heat the vegetable oil in a roasting tray for 5 mins or so.
Toss the parsnips in the coconut paste, and then transfer to the smoking hot roasting tray.
Roast the parsnips for 30-40 mins until they’re browned and crisped up.
If after 30 mins or so, they’re looking a bit anaemic still, flash them under the grill to brown them off.