Parsnip pilaf

Parsnip pilaf

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(3 ratings)

Magazine subscription – 5 issues for £5

Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 5 mins Plus soaking

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 8 - 10

Slow cook basmati rice with lentils and spices, roast your veg then serve with a coriander, dill, parsley and mint salsa verde

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving (10)

Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 300g basmati rice
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 140g red lentils
  • 1kg parsnips, 200g grated, remainder cut into long chunky wedges
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • zest 2 oranges (use the juice in the sauce)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp each turmeric, ground coriander and caraway
  • 100g raisins
  • zest 3 lemons (use the juice in the sauce)
  • 25g butter
  • yogurt, to serve (optional)

For the herb sauce

  • 25g pistachios
  • juice 3 lemons
  • juice 2 oranges
  • small bunch coriander
  • small bunch each dill, parsley and mint, stalks discarded

Compare prices

Want to see what this recipe costs at different supermarkets? Compare in one place here:


  1. Soak the rice in water for 1 hr, then rinse in a sieve until the water runs clear. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with the stock cube in it. Add the rice and lentils, and simmer for 5 mins until just beginning to soften on the outside. Drain well.
  2. Toss the chunky parsnips with 2 tbsp of the oil, the orange zest, 1 tsp of the cumin seeds and plenty of seasoning in a roasting tin. Roast for 30 mins until golden, then drizzle with honey and roast for 5-10 mins more.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a wide flameproof casserole or deep pan. Fry the onions until softened and browned. Stir in the remaining cumin with the rest of the spices and cook for 1 min, then add the grated parsnips and raisins, and cook for 1 min more. Turn the heat right down and stir in the rice mixture and lemon zest with plenty of seasoning.
  4. Melt the butter and remaining 1 tbsp oil in the big saucepan you cooked the rice in. Tip in the rice mixture and roughly flatten the surface. Poke 3 steam holes in the rice with the handle of a wooden spoon. Cover the pan with a tea towel, then put on the lid. Cook for 20-25 mins more, making sure the heat stays quite low.
  5. To make the herb sauce, whizz all the ingredients to a salsa-like mix. Spread the rice on a serving platter, breaking up any crispy chunks from the bottom. Top with the roasted parsnips and herb sauce, and serve with some yogurt, if you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2012

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.


Show comments
ChefMhaz's picture

I never entirely follow recipes, I use my instincts. I just used lemon juice - no zest, added a clove of garlic to the herb sauce and a whole peeled clementine instead of juice. Best meal I have ever made.

silkmoth's picture

Mixed feelings about this one. The end result was pretty tasty. The lemony herb sauce really lifts the end dish, and its a good use for parsnips. But I'm not sure that I'll be rushing to make it again on account of the time taken to make it. And there were three very dirty pans to deal with. Not sure it was special enough to warrant to effort.

keribillen's picture

Before reviewing the food itself let me say that I am not fussy with food usually, and is my partner is a great cook.

About the dish itself, it was utterly revolting. This has to be the worst meal I've had for years. Just looking at the combination of ingredients shows that this dish is destined to fail. All four of our children refused to eat it, preferring instead to go hungry.

synthkeys's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Loved this!
Great veggie dish which kept a carnivorous husband happy! Roasted the parsnips for a bit longer because i like them a bit darker, couldn't get caraway so upped other spices, didn't have mint but the herb sauce was awesome without it and i wouldn't use it in future. It might have been that we were huge eaters but only got six (decent sized) dinner servings and one lunch. Don't be tempted to skip the herb sauce, it without it the pilaf is a bit dry and it really brings the dish to life.
Also i didn't have time to soak the rice for an hour and it wasn't an issue.

cvlewis1's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Utterly delicious. I don't know if I was just having an off day but I found the recipe a bit difficult to follow and so overcooked the rice and got the texture wrong. It was however extremely flavoursome and went down a treat. Next time (and there will be a next time) I won't whizz the nuts up with the herb sauce but scatter them over whole or roughly chopped as I think a bit of crunch would be nice.