"At every gathering these days, there will be a vegetarian," says Renato Poliafito. Stefania Rubicondo, a baker and non-meat-eater, brought these wonderful individual pies, filled with a mix of sweet celery root, brussels sprouts and parsnips in a sage-infused cream sauce and topped with tender biscuits made with roasted sweet potato.
Pan-Fried Skate with Brown Butter and Parsnip Puree
"I don't pour a lot of local white wine," says Ken Frank. By local he means Napa; when selecting a Chardonnay, he tends to favor the Sonoma Coast, where the cooler weather creates more refined white wines. That style works beautifully with his French-style skate and parsnip puree.
Parsnips contain antioxidants and vitamins A and C. "They're our favorite root vegetable," according to Clark Frasier. "We grow them through the winter in our garden and they're the best parsnips you'll ever taste. The temperature change concentrates the sugar, which makes them even sweeter and more intensely flavored."
When roasting winter vegetables, Melissa Rubel Jacobson says be sure to chop them about the same size, so they cook at the same rate. And toss them at least once while they're in the oven, so they brown evenly.