Spiced Parsnip, Hazelnut & Pear Loaf

This loaf has everything I love in a cake. Great texture (thanks to the grated parsnips), not too sweet, lovely fruity bursts from the pear slices and it’s deliciously nutty and spiced, perfect with a hot mug of tea on a chilly Autumn afternoon! I hope you enjoy it as much as I am enjoying it right now. You’ll need a food processor to grind your linseeds and hazelnuts, and a grater for the parsnips, but apart from that it’s a pretty straightforward, one bowl cake.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp flaxseeds, ground into flour in a small food processor
  • 1 tsp each: ground cinnamon, ginger and cardamom (or use mixed spice?)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 250ml oat milk (or any milk you like eg hazelnut)
  • 200g sugar
  • 250g hazelnuts, ground into a rough flour in a food processor
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 250g parsnips, grated
  • 2 large pears

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 175C and line a large (or two small) loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Mix the ground flaxseeds, spices, salt, oil, milk and sugar in a large mixing bowl and let it sit while you grind the hazelnuts and grate the parsnips. This time will allow the flaxseeds to absorb some liquid and turn ‘eggy’.
  3. Tip the ground hazelnuts, flour, baking powder and bicarb into the mixing bowl and fold it into the wet ingredients. Don’t over-mix! Just fold it in until it’s fairly well incorporated.
  4. Then fold in the grated parsnip. You should now have a spoonable, thick batter.
  5. Peel the pears and cut them lengthways into quarters. Cut out the cores then cut the quarters into long slices.
  6. Spoon half the batter into the lined loaf tin. Arrange half the pear slices on top, then spoon over the rest of the batter. Smooth it out and place the other half of the pear slices on top. Sprinkle with a few pinches of sugar if you like, then place the tin in the middle of the oven to bake.
  7. Depending on your oven and the size of your loaf tin, this cake should take roughly 90 minutes to bake. Check it at 40 minutes in, then check on it every 15 minute or so after that. It will still be deliciously moist inside because of the pear slices and parsnip, but not wet. You can test it with a skewer. When it’s done to your liking, allow it to cool in the tin. Then carefully move it to a chopping board and enjoy in thick slices with a hot cuppa!

Warm Winter Salad

Sometimes in winter, you need a break from all the soups, stews and pies and want something fresh and vibrant. A warm winter salad is the answer. This is less of a recipe and more of a suggestion. I make versions of this fairly regularly and always make more than enough so that we have leftovers for packed lunches.


Simply chop up some winter veg into similar sized pieces (squash, onion, parsnips, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, beetroot…), pop them into a roasting tray with a little olive oil salt and pepper. Mix and roast at 200C until slightly charred and soft – this takes around 20-30 minutes depending on how much veg you roast.

Then pile onto some beautiful bitter leaves and dress. A creamy, tahini dressing goes really well here. Mix a couple of tbsp of tahini with a pinch of salt, a tsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp of lemon juice and two tbsp cold water. Once the dressing is well mixed it should be beautifully creamy and pourable. Taste it for seasoning and add more lemon or salt as needed. You can even pimp it up with some crushed garlic or finely chopped herbs like parsley or coriander. Then drizzle it all over the roasted veg.

Sprinkle over some crunchy, fragrant dukka (see my parsnip and pear soup recipe for that) and some sweet little pomegranate seeds. Those jewel-like seeds make everything more festive and are the perfect sweet and sour foil to the nutty, rich dressing. Enjoy!



Parsnip & Pear Soup

Parsnip & Pear Soup with Hazelnut Dukka

This soup is very simple, but delicately sophisticated. I would say it’s even good enough for the festive table! Parsnips and pears are a match made in heaven and I think you’ll agree that my hazelnut dukka really makes the dish sing. The spiced, toasty crunch of dukka offsets the sweetness of the parsnips and pears, and a little drizzle of peppery extra virgin oil rounds off the bowl.


Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
  • 1 knob of butter
  • the white part of a leek – rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 scrubbed and trimmed parsnip – roughly chopped
  • 2 small pears – quartered and cored
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
  • hazelnut dukka (see recipe below)

Method

In a pot, gently soften the leeks, parsnip and pear with the olive oil, butter and a pinch of salt. Once the vegetables start to soften and wilt down, just cover them with water and simmer until the parsnips are cooked through. Then blend the soup until very smooth with a handheld stick blender (or let it cool down and blend in a food processor). Taste for seasoning and add more salt and a fragrant pinch of nutmeg if you like (this just makes it extra festive). Serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of hazelnut dukka.

Hazelnut Dukka

Dukka is an Egyptian nut and spice blend which is absolutely delicious. You’ll be hooked once you try it so it’s worth learning to make your own. My version is fairly simple to make.

I find an empty jar that I want to store it in and half fill it with hazelnuts. Walnuts or mixed nuts are great too. Then toast the nuts (for hazelnuts, I do this in a tray in a hot oven – just keep an eye on them and give the tray a shake every now and then so that they toast evenly – it should only take around 10 minutes).

Then tip the hazelnuts onto a clean tea towel on your work surface, place another tea towel on top and rub your hands quite firmly on the tea towel and the skins will just flake off. Then pick out the skinned and toasted hazelnuts and chop them with a large, sharp knife and put them in the jar.

The rest of the jar space should be taken up with toasted sesame, cumin and coriander seeds in fairly equal proportions. I just eyeball it and toast these one at a time in a dry frying pan, or altogether in the oven. I like to bash up the toasted coriander seeds a bit with a pestle and mortar first.

Then give the jar a shake to mix up the ingredients, let it cool completely with the lid off before popping the jar on your shelf to use on lots of different dishes. Your dukka should stay fresh for at least a month.

Did you make this soup? Let us know how it went in the comments and feel free to share the recipe with your friends and family. Share photos of our recipes on the Green Earth Organics Healthy Eating Facebook page or tag us @greenearthorganics1 over on Instagram. We love to see our recipes leave the page! Liz x