Parsnip rosti with Scandinavian meatballs and apple-and-beetroot salad

Our kitchen garden cook has a Scandinavian twist on parsnips.

This week’s main recipe is inspired by Scandinavia, a country that knows how to do comfort food. The rösti is usually made from potatoes, but this twist using parsnips is entirely delicious. They could also be served on their own for a light lunch, accompanied by dressed salad leaves.

Ingredients (serves four)


250g pickled beetroot (add 1tbspn apple-cider vinegar if using cooked)
1 apple 100ml crème fraîche
75g mayonnaise
1 lemon
1tbspn chopped parsley


300g minced beef
300g minced pork
1 finely diced red onion
50g breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg
Butter and olive oil for frying

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20g butter
20g plain flour
500ml beef stock
100ml cream
A handful chopped parsley


500g parsnips
2 medium carrots
1 red onion
2 eggs
2tbspn cornflour
75g mixed seeds


Mix the diced beetroot, apple, crème fraîche and mayonnaise, along with a squeeze of lemon and seasoning, in a bowl, sprinkle with parsley and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the meatballs, combine the beef, pork, breadcrumbs and onion in a bowl, add the beaten egg and seasoning and mix well with a fork. Taking small amounts, roll the meat into balls and fry in olive oil and butter until browned. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and keep warm in the oven.

Using the same pan, melt the butter for the gravy and add the flour, mixing well, followed by the stock. Stir with a whisk and bring to a simmer. Once thickened, add cream and seasoning to taste. Retrieve your meatballs, add them to the gravy and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Keep on a low heat until ready to serve.

Grate the parsnips, carrots and onion (using a processor if possible) and mix together with the beaten eggs, cornflour, seeds and seasoning in a large bowl. Put a few metal rings in a hot, buttered frying pan, fill each with spoonfuls of mixture and press down with the back of a spoon. Fry until browned, turn and allow to brown again.

Serve each rösti topped with meatballs and sauce and with a portion of salad on the side.

More ways with parsnips

Parsnip rösti with Scandinavian meatballsWarming winter parsnip salad (left)

Peel and cut 4 parsnips, 3 carrots and 3 beetroots into chunks, toss in olive oil and roast in a hot oven with rosemary and thyme for about 25 minutes. Add a microwaveable sachet of mixed whole grains to the vegetables and stir well. Add a squeeze of lemon, a handful of fresh herbs (such as parsley and basil) and seasoning, then spoon into bowls. Top with a harissa-smeared grilled chicken breast and a dollop of tzatziki.

Parsnip-and-cauliflower curried soup

Break half a cauliflower into florets and arrange on a baking sheet with 3 peeled and chopped parsnips and a chopped red onion. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with a teaspoon each of turmeric and garam masala plus a couple of pinches of cinnamon and roast in a moderate oven for 20 minutes. Transfer to a saucepan, add enough chicken stock to cover and simmer gently. Blitz with a stick-blender until smooth, then top with a dollop of yoghurt and a scattering of mixed seeds.

Roasted pork belly with parsnips and apples

Combine 2tbspn fennel seeds, a handful chopped parsley and sage and a glug of olive oil, mix well and brush over the skinless side of a pork belly. Season the belly generously, then roll, tie and roast in a moderate oven for 3 hours. Peel 6 parsnips, cut them into quarters lengthways, toss them in olive oil and add to the roasting dish 40 minutes before the pork is done, followed by 4 cored and chopped apples 20 minutes before. Serve with pan juices.