Food. Gill Meller.


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Parsnips

For the launch of the Hive Journal, we have speaking to some of our allies in a ‘more or less’ world to bring you an insight into their way of life. We believe that everyday objects form part of the ritual of life, but there is so much more to life too, like gathering friends around to enjoy good food and great company.

We caught up with chef Gill Meller, author of Gather: Everyday seasonal recipes from a year in our landscapes to find out what dishes he enjoys cooking this time of year.

“Well, the last of autumn’s blackberries are ripe, salacious and full of flavour. Once all the berries are picked, the bramble retires back into the hedgerow, unnoticed and still for winter. It’s easy to forget then how productive this thorny weed really is.”

“I like to make this gorgeous, colourful salad, I tumble the berries through a tray of roasted early winter parsnips, where they burst in the hot honey and olive oil, and are cut through by the bitterness of red chicory. A scattering of rye flakes adds a nutty crunch, which I really love. This is a real River Cottage favourite.”

Roast parsnips with blackberries, honey chicory & rye flakes

Serves 4

  • 4 parsnips, quartered lengthways and cored
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 heaped tablespoons rye flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon runny honey
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 or 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 or 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 100g (3 ½ oz) blackberries
  • 1 firm red chicory, leaves separated
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Place the parsnip quarters in a large roasting tray. Combine the olive oil, rye flakes, Dijon mustard, honey and cider vinegar in
a bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Mix well,
then pour mixture over the parsnips and tumble them to coat
thoroughly. Tear over the thyme and rosemary, then place
the roasting tray in the oven and roast the parsnips for 40–45
minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula until they are
tender in the middle and crisp and caramelized on the outside.
Remove the parsnips from the oven, then scatter the
blackberries and chicory leaves over them. Set aside to cool
for 5–10 minutes, then serve as a warm salad with fresh bread,
or as an accompaniment to good sausages, duck, or pork chops.

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