Parsley Root Puree with Mushrooms, Lentils and Gravy

This dish is the ultimate in comfort food. Silky, flavourful parsley root and cauliflower puree, topped with meaty mushrooms, lentils and peas, soaked in a tasty vegan gravy and topped with crunchy walnuts. What more do you need? I think I could eat this every day of my life.

One of my favourite parts of this dish is the parsley root and cauliflower puree. Have you ever heard of parsley root? It looks strikingly similar to parsnip, though the flavour is much different. If you’re unable to find parsley root, you could substitute parsnip in this recipe. Because the puree is all veggies, you can load up your plate until it’s heaping! SO much nutrition packed into this delicious puree!

I’ve recently shared that I am challenging myself to 30 days of vegetarian eating. This isn’t a huge stretch for me, though it has been taking some conscious effort. I’m really excited about this new journey, and who knows, maybe it’ll continue far beyond the 30 days! I could certainly get used to it with meals like this one. Meat is not missed in this flavourful, umami-packed dish. I hope you like it as much as I do!

For the parsley root & cauliflower puree:
5 cups parsley root, peeled and roughly chopped (could substitute with parsnip if unable to find parsley root)
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into rough chunks
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
A few tablespoons of milk of choice (to reach desired consistency)

For the vegan gravy:
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 small white onion, minced
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1.5 cups no-sodium vegetable broth
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
2-3 tsp low-sodium tamari (note*: if using broth with added salt, reduce amount of tamari to taste)
Black pepper, to taste

Other ingredients:
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stalks trimmed and mushrooms quartered
1-19oz can lentils, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp low-sodium tamari
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1) Heat a large pot of water on high heat until boiling. Add the parsley root, cauliflower and garlic cloves to the pot. Cook until very tender, then drain. Allow to cool slightly, then add to blender along with a few tablespoons of milk of choice and blend until smooth. Start with a small amount of milk and increase as needed until you have a thick puree. Add black pepper and a pinch of salt if needed (though remember the toppings will be super flavourful!).

2) Prepare the gravy. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic and onions and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the flour and stir to combine, cooking for another 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the broth while whisking to ensure a smooth consistency. Add the thyme, nutritional yeast, tamari and black pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally, until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

3) Prepare the mushroom mixture. Preheat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened and beginning to brown. Add lentils and peas and toss gently to combine. Add thyme, tamari and black pepper and toss again. Cook until heated through.

4) Assemble! Place parsley root puree on a plate, top with mushroom-lentil mixture, vegan gravy and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts. Enjoy!