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Parsnips with Leek Bagna Caôda

Spinasse, Seattle

Chef Jason Stratton

serves 4

  • 4  parsnips
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 leeks
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 10 high-quality anchovy filets (We use Agostino Recca.)
  • 2 drops of lemon juice or high-quality red wine vinegar (optional)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Peel the parsnips and cut into 1-inch oblique pieces—that is, cut them on the bias, rolling 45 degrees forward after each cut. Toss parsnips in enough olive oil to just coat them. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer in a baking dish with a tightly fitting lid, or alternatively, cover the dish with aluminum foil. Roast about 30 to 40 minutes until they are tender, but not colored. They tend to get tough with more than just a little color.

Meanwhile, prepare the leeks. Trim away the darker green of the leek—reserve this for making stock. Slice the leeks lengthwise, lay the cut end on the cutting board, and make several vertical cuts without cutting through the root end. Soak a few minutes in cold water to loosen any dirt, then rinse well to clean. Shake dry and slice across the leeks to make 1/2-inch-square pieces. Peel and thinly slice the garlic.

In a medium-sized sauté pan, over medium-low heat, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil until just starting to shimmer. Add the anchovy filets and cook until they deepen in color and smell nutty, mashing the filets apart with a wooden spoon. Add garlic and sauté a few minutes more until the garlic is slightly golden in color. Immediately add the leeks and cook down, stirring often, until the leeks are very soft. Add the roasted parsnips to the leek mixture and stir well. Taste for seasoning, adding a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar, if desired.