Parsnip Risotto with Mascarpone & Sage

Parsnip Risotto

Parsnips are a vegetable that doesn’t receive much love, but I love them.  While I have no time at all for Brussels Sprouts (ick!!) parsnips have long been a vegetable I adore.  I remember the first time I had parsnips, I was about 8 years old, and we were visiting my aunt and uncle for lunch, and on our plate was an orange white mash consisting of carrot and parsnips.  I had no idea what parsnips were back then, but on first taste I fell in love with parsnips, and have loved them since then.  I still love carrot and parsnip mash to this day (**note to self to share my carrot and parsnip mash recipe**).  It always reminds me of that day.

As much as I love parsnips, and as much as I love risotto, I had never actually thought of combining the two. So, when I came across Alice Hart’s Parsnip, Sage and Mascarpone Risotto in her Vegetarian: A Delicious Celebration of Fresh Ingredients, I just had to give it a try.

To Alice’s recipe I added baby spinach, because I felt the Parsnip Risotto looked a bit anemic otherwise, in it’s pale creaminess.  I was also worried that the parsnip would be a bit overwhelming.  I needn’t have worried though, because the coarsely grated parsnip was nutty and lovely, and not in the least bit overwhelming in flavour. That being said though, for a main meal I do feel the parsnip risotto needs something to give it a little extra dimension.  I think next time I might try it with some toasted pinenuts or oven roasted portobello mushrooms on top.

Are you a lover or hater of parsnips?  What are your favourite parsnip dishes?

Alice Hart's Vegetarian Parsnip Risotto Recipe


Parsnip Risotto

5.0 from 2 reviews
Parsnip Risotto with Mascarpone and Sage
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 40g of butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 6 sage leaves, finely shredded
  • 250g of arborio rice
  • 250ml of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of mascarpone, plus extra to serve
  • 60g of parmesan cheese, grated
  • 150g of baby spinach
  1. Start by placing the vegetable stock in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low to keep warm.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the onion, parsnips and sage and cook for 5 minutes, until the onion is softened but not coloured.
  3. Add the rice and stir well to coat before cooking for a few minutes until they begin to turn translucent.
  4. Add the white wine (I used a wooded chardonnay) and cook until the wine has all but evaporated.
  5. Use a ladle to add a spoonful of stock to the risotto and stir until the stock almost disappears before adding the next ladle of stock. Continue until all of the stock is used, or the rice is plump but retains a bit of bite.
  6. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the grated parmesan, baby spinach and mascarpone and stir to combine. Cover with a lid and set aside for 5 minutes.
  7. Serve with extra mascarpone and fried or fresh sage leaves.

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  1. JJ @ 84thand3rd January 4, 2012  2:55 pm Reply

    ohh, sounds more-ish!! I have to remember the grating trick, such a quick and easy way to add veggies and flavour with out all the chopping.

    • delicieux January 4, 2012  3:03 pm Reply

      Grating is a great way to quickly and easily cook vegetables. Quite a lot of the grated parsnip sort of melted as the risotto cooked, which was really lovely and contributed to the creaminess of the dish. :)

  2. Rosa January 4, 2012  4:59 pm Reply

    A splendid risotto and lovely clicks! Parsnip is such a flavor root vegetable.



  3. Monica (@gastromony) January 4, 2012  5:12 pm Reply

    Oh this looks rather nice! I can't say I like parsnip but I don't think I've ever eaten it in a particularly palatable way either :| I don't even know if it's the flavour or texture that puts me off but I can see the marscapone toning the flavour down for me nicely :D

  4. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella January 4, 2012  7:06 pm Reply

    Great minds think alike Jennifer! I agree, parsnips don't get much love do they? But served in a delicious risotto like this and I bet it would change people's minds :)

  5. Kiri W. January 4, 2012  9:29 pm Reply

    I looove a risotto, and yours looks perfectly creamy. Mascarpone is the best ever thing to use! I'm really curious to try parsnip in a risotto now, thank you for sharing!

  6. Emma Galloway January 4, 2012  11:38 pm Reply

    I love parsnips!!! And even adore Brussels sprouts too :-) I like my parsnips simply roasted until caramelised and delicious, but loving your idea of adding them to risotto, especially with the mascarpone and sage! Yum.

    • delicieux January 5, 2012  6:52 pm Reply

      I love roasted parsnips too, this are so delicious. :D

  7. sarah January 5, 2012  3:02 am Reply

    I love parsnips! I make a bechamel sauce out of them and bake it up with pasta. Love the flavors in this risotto, bookmarking this one for sure!

    • delicieux January 5, 2012  6:54 pm Reply

      Mmmm a parsnip bechamel sauce sounds delicious. :D

  8. john@heneedsfood January 5, 2012  6:51 am Reply

    Good idea on putting spinach through this dish. I really works. It's funny, I never really cook with them unless it's with roasted vegetables or a soup. I really love the earthy flavour!

  9. muppy January 5, 2012  8:01 am Reply

    sounds delicious, i love parsnips too. I cooked my dad roast chicken with roast parsnips a while back and he was so pleased, apparently a parsnip lover from way back - funny because we never had them growing up.

  10. Claire @ Claire K Creations January 5, 2012  8:28 am Reply

    You know I've never actually had parsnip before. Must add it to my list 'to try 2012.'

    The risotto looks lovely.

  11. Nic@diningwithastud January 5, 2012  9:13 am Reply

    Haha Im the same with brussel sprouts, Im learnign to tolerate them but I wouldnt cook them really. Love parsnips though, we dont eat them enough but they're so tasty :) love the sound of them in a risotto! Perfect with the mascarpone too!

  12. Hotly Spiced January 5, 2012  11:52 am Reply

    What a yummy looking risotto and I love parsnips too.

  13. Anna@ The Littlest Anchovy January 5, 2012  12:49 pm Reply

    I love parsnips especially roasted, but in a risotto with creamy and decadent marscapone? Well that would just be to die for!

    • delicieux January 6, 2012  6:41 pm Reply

      It was delicious Anna, but I felt it needed something else to take it to the next level. I will definitely make it again, and perhaps try adding some roasted nuts.

  14. amee January 5, 2012  2:40 pm Reply

    You know, I don't cook much with Parsnips.. But I should. Your risotto looks very season appropriate and warming. I feel like there's little vegetarians can do with sage, but it looks nice here. i do love sage too, esp in butternut quash ravioli for example... I also appreciate how honest and forthcoming you are about the dishes you make. :)

    • delicieux January 6, 2012  6:44 pm Reply

      Thank you so much Amee :D I love sage, and I find I use it a lot with pumpkin, especially butternut pumpkin as the two work so well.

  15. Gerry @Foodness Gracious January 5, 2012  3:37 pm Reply

    I love parsnips!! My fav ways to eat them are roasted with some rosemary or treated like a mashed potato and creamed with butter and cream until light and fluffy. Love the idea of the risotto though!
    Thanks for stopping by and saying hello,
    take care..

    • delicieux January 6, 2012  6:45 pm Reply

      The parsnip mash sounds fantastic Gerry!! I want to try that now! :D

  16. msihua January 5, 2012  6:03 pm Reply

    I don't think I've had much to do with parsnips so I can't say what I feel towards them, but this recipe looks delicious!

    • delicieux January 6, 2012  6:46 pm Reply

      Thanks Msihua. Maybe you can give parsnips a try with this recipe....or try roasting them. So delicious! :)

      • msihua January 7, 2012  1:58 pm

        I shall :) Thanks!!!

  17. Moya January 6, 2012  2:58 am Reply

    I love parsnips, never had them in a risotto, it does sound delicious. Parsnips roasted with parmesan cheese and carrot and parsnips mash... favourite.

  18. beti January 6, 2012  4:11 am Reply

    risotto has always been one of my favorite dishes, I always make it with mushrooms but I never thought about adding mascarpone and parsnip, sounds fantastic!

  19. Delishhh January 6, 2012  5:44 am Reply

    Happy New year - just awesome risotto!

  20. thelittleloaf January 6, 2012  7:32 am Reply

    I never cook parsnips apart from with a roast at Christmas, and every year I say how much I like them and that I should use them more! Now I have no excuse - this risotto looks lovely and cooked to creamy perfection :-)

  21. erin @ yummy supper January 6, 2012  9:45 am Reply

    So interesting. I would never think of parsnips in risotto, but I bet it is delish! I am a parsnip fan and have only roasted them in big pieces or thin like chips. Always good.
    Happy New Year!

    • delicieux January 6, 2012  7:18 pm Reply

      Thanks Erin, same to you too :D

  22. cc11 January 7, 2012  10:49 am Reply

    I actually only tried parsnips last year! and yep, definitely a fan :) I would have to say I love them most roasted into chips, but the parsnip cake I made was also delicious, such a versatile veg! Never thought to put it in a risotto though, it just keeps on surprising me.

  23. kyleen January 7, 2012  3:32 pm Reply

    This looks delicious! I imagine that the risotto must have been so creamy from the mascarpone. Beautiful pictures, by the way.

    • delicieux January 7, 2012  5:33 pm Reply

      Thank you so much Kyleen :D

  24. Sukaina January 7, 2012  5:00 pm Reply

    The flavors in this risotto seem very earthy. I have eaten risotto only once before but found it rather bland. I think your looks super and creamy.

  25. Deeps @ Naughty Curry January 8, 2012  5:09 am Reply

    wow, looks delectable! lovely pics. i dont know what parsnips are, sadly we dont get it in this part of the world but it looks similar to raddish so im gonna go ahead & try it :)

  26. Joyti January 8, 2012  3:38 pm Reply

    I love parsnips AND brussel sprouts too. I only tried them about a year ago, though. Still, I love the way they tasted in soups and after roasting....
    The risotto looks + sounds marvelous.

  27. Vanessa February 7, 2012  10:55 am Reply

    Love this! Made it last night and got to enjoy it again for lunch today. Definitely a keeper, thanks for sharing!

    • delicieux February 7, 2012  6:20 pm Reply

      Hi Vanessa,

      I am so glad you enjoyed it. Parsnip is such a great vegetable :)

  28. Heather August 27, 2012  4:14 pm Reply

    I was just wondering whether this recipe could be made in a pressure cooker/multi cooker. I have the Newave multi cooker and would love to try it in there. Would I need to alter the recipe for it to work do you think? Also could I use oil in place of the butter? How much would you suggest if I can?
    Thanks for a delicious looking recipe :)

    • Jennifer August 29, 2012  11:41 am Reply

      Hi Heather,

      It's funny you mention the Newwave Multi Cooker because I own one myself, and yes, you can make this in the multicooker. And you shouldn't need to alter the recipe at all.

      I hope you enjoy it :D


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