Maple & Black Pepper Glazed Parsnip with Speck, Pear & Walnut

Pears are one of my favorite fruits because of their versatility in adapting to both sweet and savory dishes. Here, I pair them with a glaze of beautiful, rich Hidden Springs Maple that is perked up with black pepper and balanced with parsnips roasted in brown butter.

Day 1: Making the Maple & Black Pepper Glaze

This recipe is great for many things from roasted parsnips, rutabaga, chicken, pork, duck and more. Its uses are limitless.

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup shallots, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

Step by Step

Sauté the Aromatic Vegetables

  1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent

Toast the Spices

  • Add the pepper and nutmeg and “bloom” in the butter and shallots for 30 seconds

Farm2ChefsTable Tip: Blooming, similar to “tadka” in Indian cuisine, is when you toast spices in butter to bring out their intensity of flavor. This technique is what brings good food into the realm of great food.

Vinegar Goes in

  • Add the vinegar and bring to a boil

Maple Syrup Goes in

  • Once the vinegar has come to a boil, add the maple syrup and return to a boil, then reduce to a heavy simmer

Reduce the Glaze

  • Reduce the glaze until it’s the consistency of maple syrup
  • Cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a few days

Day 2: Blanch the Parsnips

Blanching is precooking food in boiling water to soften and partially cook it. This step helps expedite a busy dinner service or a Farm2ChefsTable dinner with friends and family.

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes boiling water


  • Salt, as needed
  • 2 parsnips, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cored

Farm2ChefsTable Tip: Removing the woody core from the parsnips allows them to cook more evenly.

Step by Step

Boil the Parsnips

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil
  2. Salt the water heavily until it tastes of salt
  3. Prepare an ice bath (equal parts ice and water) in a large bowl
  4. Boil parsnips until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes

Shock the Parsnips

  • Carefully remove the parsnips from the water and immediately place into the ice bath to halt cooking
  • Remove parsnips from the ice bath and pat dry with paper towels
  • Reserve under refrigeration in an airtight container until ready to use

Day 3: Prepare the Smoke Salt Roasted Walnuts & Behold the Speck

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Preheat Oven: 350F degrees


  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper

Step by Step

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the chopped walnuts with the olive oil, smoked salt and cracked pepper
  2. Place walnuts onto a baking tray and roast in a preheated oven until toasted, about 5 to 10 minutes
  3. Cool and reserve in an airtight container until ready to use


Farm2ChefsTable Tip:Speck is smoked prosciutto from the Alto Adige region in northern Italy.


  • 1/4 lb. speck from your local pantry shop, such as Beacon Pantry in Beacon, NY

Day 4, Meal Day: Roasting the Parsnips and Pears & Plate Assembly

It’s the big day. Your friends and family are coming over in a little while and they are looking for some yummy food. Luckily, all you must do now is look like a champ by quickly roasting some vegetables. This dish would make for a great appetizer, or even a side dish to a meat roast.

Roast the Blanched Parsnips

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 to 10 minutes


  • Blanched parsnips (recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt, as needed

Step by Step

Sauté the Parsnips

  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat
  2. Roast the blanched parsnips in oil until evenly caramelized, about 5 minutes

Baste the Parsnips in Brown Butter

  • Once the parsnips have almost finished roasting, add the butter, thyme and crushed garlic
  • While the butter is foaming and browning (careful not to burn it), spoon the butter over the parsnips and baste for about one minute. Carefully tilt the pan toward you, and pool the butter near the pan’s handle to do this
  • Remove parsnips and place on a paper towel to soak up the grease
  • Reserve warm for the rest of the dish

Roasted Pears

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Preheat Oven: 475F degrees


  • 2 red or green pears, whichever you like
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Salt, to taste

Step by Step

Prep the Pears

  1. Quarter and core the pears
  2. Cut each quarter in half lengthwise

Roast the Pears

  • In a mixing bowl, combine pears with olive oil, salt and thyme, then toss to combine
  • Transfer the pears to a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven until thoroughly browned and tender, about 5 to 10 minutes
  • Remove the thyme and keep pears warm

Assemble the Salad & Serve

Step by Step

  1. Warm the maple and black pepper glaze over medium-low heat
  2. In a mixing bowl, add the roasted pears, parsnips and the maple & black pepper glaze
  3. Toss gently to combine
  4. Plate up using your favorite serving dish
  5. Sprinkle the smoke salt roasted walnuts on the salad
  6. Enjoy with your family or friends.