or, as they are officially known:

Granny Pam's Parsnip Daphnes

Feeds 4 as a side dish. Mum serves this with grilled salmon or steak, steamed new potatoes in butter and mint and a steamed green vegetable. It's easy to make, the quantities are flexible and the cooking time can be adjusted according to what else you are cooking.

These instructions are in metric but don't forget we have the Everything Kitchen Conversion Table!


4 large parsnips
100g gruyère, grated
generous knob (around 15g) of butter
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 200°C. Slice the parsnips into rounds of about ½cm. Steam the parsnips for ten minutes. Melt half of the butter in the bottom of a large ovenproof dish. Sprinkle a generous amount of pepper and some nutmeg into the butter. Make a layer of steamed parsnips and grated cheese, add more pepper and nutmeg and continue to layer. Finish with a cheese layer. Dot the remaining butter over the surface and add a last flourish of pepper and nutmeg. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

Bon appétit!

Did you know that in Spain parsnips are only considered fit for consumption by donkeys and other working animals? Many people did not even know what I was talking about when I translated parsnip into Spanish for them, described it in detail and eventually showed them a picture. Even today it is almost impossible to get hold of them apart from in specialist (and therefore very expensive) supermarkets, like El Corte Inglés. However, my mum, whose recipe features above, sent a packet of seeds so that my father-in-law could plant some in his allotment and several months later I regaled my in-laws with this wonderful manna from Heaven.