by The Culinistas

In modern cooking the word “casserole” gets a bad rap. Often, the term conjures a vision of hammered veggies, mysterious canned ingredients, and no nuance of flavor. 

But this isn’t grandma’s casserole — it’s a ‘role model if you ask us. White rice is replaced by farro cooked just right, a parsnip sauce packed with spices and thyme subs in for your standard “Cream of” can, and a crispy crumb made with hazelnuts finishes things off in style. It’s a flavor combination that will impress any generation, but is young at heart.

Kale Parsnip Casserole

CHEF TIPS

– Total cooking time can be reduced if you boil farro & roast parsnips at the same time. 

– Reserve some of the water from boiling the farro & use to make the parsnip sauce. It will make the sauce extra creamy. 

– If you don’t have a small food processor, pulse the nut mixture in a blender. If you don’t have a blender, place the nuts in a plastic or reusable bag & crush with a mallet or the back of a small pan.

Prep Time 20 mins 

Cook Time 1 hour 15 mins  

Serves 4 to 6

½ cup olive oil, plus more for greasing

¼ cup thyme, picked

6 medium parsnips, peeled, chopped

1 tsp cumin, ground, divided

1 tsp onion powder, divided

½ tsp cayenne, divided

¼ tsp allspice, ground

¾ cup farro

1 bunch kale, chopped

2 TB lemon juice

1 TB lemon zest

¾ cup hazelnuts, roasted, chopped

Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.

2. Make thyme oil: In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Gently add thyme & stir. When the oil is no longer bubbling, transfer the fried thyme to a paper towel-lined plate & season with salt; reserve the thyme oil.

3. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook farro until tender, 20-30 mins. Strain & rinse under cold water.

4. Make parsnip sauce: On a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss parsnips with 2 TB thyme oil, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp onion powder, ¼ tsp cayenne, allspice, salt & pepper. Roast until the parsnips are soft, 30-35 mins. Slightly cool & chop. In a high speed blender, blend ½ of the roasted parsnips with 2 TB thyme oil & ¼ -½ cup water. Season with salt & pepper.

5. In a large pan, heat 2 TB thyme oil. Sauté kale until wilted & tender, 3-4 mins. Season with lemon juice, salt & pepper.

6. Make the crumbs: In a small food processor, pulse fried thyme, remaining ½ tsp cumin, remaining ½ tsp onion powder, remaining ¼ tsp cayenne, lemon zest & hazelnuts. While pulsing, stream in remaining 2 TB thyme oil to yield a coarse breadcrumb consistency. Season with salt & pepper.

7. In a large bowl, mix remaining roasted parsnips, parsnip sauce, farro & kale; transfer to a greased 8×8 baking dish; cover with hazelnut crumb mixture.

8. Bake until warmed through, 20-25 mins. Let cool, 5 mins & serve.

Cumin, Onion Powder, Cayenne & Allspice are a chef’s secret weapons. Check out our eComm shop to purchase our favorite brand.