Flora's Parsnip and Hazelnut Gratin

18 Dec 2023

Flora's Parsnip and Hazelnut Gratin

As we prepare to deck the halls and gather around the table, Flora gifts us a recipe that not only boasts the comforting warmth of parsnips but also adds a delightful crunch of hazelnuts. For Christmas Day feasting or beyond, this wonderful dish proves itself a versatile companion, each spoonful embodying the essence of holiday cheer.

Prepare it a day or two in advance, allowing the flavours to meld and intensify, and then watch it transform into a show-stopping creation as it bakes to golden perfection. A great side to make a day or two ahead and then bake on Christmas Day!


Serves 4-6 as a side
500g parsnips
25g plain flour
25g butter
250g whole milk
50g parmesan
salt and pepper
250g creme fraiche
2 cloves of garlic

For the topping:
3 sprig of rosemary
50g hazelnuts
25g breadcrumbs
25g parmesan
olive oil


Pre heat the oven to 200C.

Top and tail the parsnips (peel them if they are not organic) and cut into batons that are roughly the same thickness (1cm) so they all cook at the same time. Place in a pan of salted boiling water and simmer for 7-10 minutes or until just cooked.

In a second pan melt the butter and flour together over a medium heat to form a paste. Gradually add the milk whisking in between until you have a smooth sauce. Finely grate the parmesan and add to the sauce, alongside some seasoning and a little grated fresh nutmeg. Whisk in the creme fraiche and then check the seasoning. Finely grate the garlic and add to the sauce also. Strip the rosemary stalks and finely chop. Add half of the chopped rosemary to your sauce.

Drain the cooked parsnips and allow to steam dry for a minute or two. Add to the sauce the spoon everything into a medium oven proof baking dish or tray.

In a mortar and Pestle bash the hazelnuts until they are chunky. Add the breadcrumbs, and the other half of the rosemary. Finely grate the parmesan and mix into the nuts. Sprinkle all over the top of the gratin. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a good crack of pepper over the top then pop in the oven (or cover and store in the fridge until ready to bake).

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until bubbling around the edges and golden and crisp on top. This is very good served with brussels sprout and any roast you fancy!


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