This quintessential fall dish can be made with almost any root vegetable; parsnips and earthy sweet potatoes are especially good with the butter and maple syrup that are mixed in just before serving. At Table 8, Armstrong serves the mashed vegetables on caramelized leaves of Savoy cabbage.
Delicious, Quick Side Dishes
1/2 bunch thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
5 pounds mixed root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, Yukon Gold
potatoes, sweet potatoes and rutabagas—peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
8 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
Wrap the thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth and secure with kitchen string. Put the bundle in a large saucepan and add the root vegetables, onion, garlic and white wine. Add enough water to cover by 1 inch and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the vegetables and discard the herb bundle.
Return the vegetables to the saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring, until the vegetables are dry, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and smash the vegetables with a potato masher. Stir in the butter and maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
The smashed vegetables can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Rewarm in a double boiler.
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