Stuffed Parsnips Cakes with mushroom

Hot, crisp cakes with a nutty, savoury filling. This is a delicious and elegant main course for vegetarians. For a festive flavour serve with Spiced Cranberry Sauce (link below).

Serves2 Origin Fusion
Preparation 20 min Heat rating (Mild)
Cooking 1h 50 min Ease (Average)
Vegetarian Yes


4 Green Cardamom pods
1 pinch Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Cumin, organic
For the filling
50g lightly toasted pine nuts or chestnuts
1 large onion, finely chopped
25g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
150g mushrooms, chopped
75g fresh spinach leaves

For the parsnips
800g parsnips and/or potatoes
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
oil and butter for frying


Peel and chop the parsnips into large pieces and boil in salted water till just tender about 20mins. Drain and return them to the heat for a couple of minutes to ‘dry out’, then mash them with the cinnamon and a little ground black pepper. When no lumps remain, stir in the flour. Leave to cool.

While the parsnips are cooking, make the filling. Toast the pine kernels in a non-stick pan over a moderate heat till golden, or chopped the chestnuts if using these instead. Set aside. Heat a frying pan with the oil and butter over a moderate heat and add the onions, fry until soft and translucent. Add the crushed garlic to the pan, along with the coriander powder, the crushed cardamom seeds and the cumin powder. Stir and fry for a few seconds. Add the chopped mushrooms and allow to cook gently until, nutty brown. Stir in the pine kernels or chestnuts at this point.

In a separate pan cook the spinach briefly, drain, squeeze and roughly chop. Stir the spinach into the mushroom stuffing, season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
When both parsnips and stuffing are cool enough to handle, flour your hands and divide the parsnip mix into four. Flatten each one into a thick disc, put a couple of spoonfuls of the filling in the centre, then bring up the sides to enclose the stuffing. Flatten the ball gently with a floured hand and put on to a lightly floured baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the mixture to make four large, stuffed patties. These will keep, wrapped in clingfilm for several hours, or overnight.

To cook the patties, heat a shallow pool of oil and a little butter in a non-stick pan. Cook the cakes on one side till golden, then turn and colour the other side. They are best eaten immediately, although you could keep them warm in the oven for about 10/15mins. Serve with salad leaves, plain Greek yogurt and pomegranate seeds or spiced cranberry sauce.

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