For the sake of the upswing, here is my breakfast of winter champions — parsnip hash.
This post comes from our friend and contributor, Lexie Smith!
No one said this was going to be easy. I shoulder the burden of that reality each time the winter chill steals the breath from my chest or I reach the top of a set of stairs exhausted by the lingering sick I can’t seem to shake. There is something about this time of year that reminds me more loudly and incessantly of a truth I already know — that the cycle of the big-ups and the low-downs is hearty and ongoing. At this point in my life it comes as no surprise, so in an attempt to play the “adult” card, I remain self-aware and try to pinpoint the things that can inspire the upswing. And you know what I circle back to? Breakfast.
Moms help, too. When it comes to my mother, my food memories rest firmly in the camp of the things she loves rather than the things she made. I know her favorites for the morning, noon and night. The food memories I have of us are in Greek diners and Jewish delis and seafood restaurants nestled in one harbor or another. If I picture us huddled behind those big laminated menus the size of my torso, I know just what she would choose. And when it comes to breakfast, it’s hash.
While my mom’s choice usually includes some sort of brined meat and potatoes mashed together with lots of griddle grease and perfectly dry toast, I lean toward a version that’s a bit nicer to my belly. So for the sake of the upswing, here is my breakfast of winter champions. Parsnips replace the more traditional potatoes, anchovies stand in as the savory note, and a surprising dash of freshly grated nutmeg ties the whole pile into a mess that’ll hopefully help you feel like less of one.
Parsnip Hash with Anchovies and Kale
2 parsnips, sliced and chopped
½ small white onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
3-5 anchovies (to preference), chopped and with oil
1 ½ cup of kale (about 4 big leaves), chopped
a handful of parsley, chopped
juice and zest of ½ lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, poached or fried, but definitely runny
Heat the olive oil and about half the oil from a can of anchovies (about 1 tbsp) over medium heat in a skillet.
Cook the onions, covered, for a few minutes until they become fragrant and start to brown. Throw in the garlic and the anchovies, and let cook a bit further, stirring frequently.
Deglaze the pan with the lemon juice and add 1 tbsp of water. Add the chopped parsnip and cover, stirring every minute or two, and let go until the parsnips begin to soften and brown, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and continue cooking and intermittently stirring for a few more minutes.
Season with salt (to taste), fresh cracked pepper and chopped parsley, and mix while still over heat. Make sure you scrape up a lot of the crispy bits on the bottom of the pan — that’s where you’ll find the flavor!
Pile onto two plates and top with a runny egg, fresh herbs, zest, salt and a dusting of fresh nutmeg.