Because I am inherently a designer and artist, plates should be pretty to be appetizing. Your sensibilities are immediately heightened, taste buds salivating, when presented with a great looking plate.
If you are a mother with young kids, feed them everything. Make it beautiful and I guarantee you, they will eat it. We never fed our kids processed food or took them to fast food restaurants. And they would beg us to go when they were little. After all, their friends went all the time, even for dinner. (Yuk!) So one time, Zach went to either Wendy’s or McDonald’s with a friend for lunch. He was 10 or 12. He later admitted to me he felt very sick and gross afterwards. His body was not used to such garbage.
Here’s a very pretty plate that is so colorful with the beets and carrot/parsnip puree. I threw on the fresh figs at the last minute, because I had them in the fridge, I thought they would look pretty, and they needed to be used up. I did not spend time arranging this plate. It would look even better if I did but this is what you can get, casually putting things together. The chicken is the roast chicken recipe from my last post and here’s the carrot and parsnip puree, one of my favorite vegetables that looks like it’s really very special and it’s really very easy, as long as you have a food processor.
CARROT & PARSNIP PUREE
3/4 pound parsnips, peeled and thickly sliced
3/4 pound carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
Coarse sea salt
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (or fresh parsley if you don’t have tarragon)
In a saucepan, combine parsnips and carrots. Cover with 1/2 inch cold salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until soft. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Pulse in a food processor, pouring in 5 tablespoons olive oil and just enough cooking water to make a loose purée. You will not use all of the water. Taste to see if it needs any salt. Most likely it will not need any because you have cooked them in salted water and added some of that salted water back in. Use fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir in tarragon or parsley. Serve. These also reheat very nicely in the microwave. If you’ve made them before everything else is ready, fire some extra heat into them just before serving this very elegant, restaurant/professional-like side dish.