Serves 6

Nutty and sweet, this gratin makes a nice change from the more traditional ones made from potatoes

13/4kg/31/2lb medium-sized parsnips (if they are too big, their flavour and texture becomes woody)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of thyme, leaves only
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
20g/3/4oz unsalted butter
250ml/8fl oz chicken stock
2 yellow onions, finely sliced
150ml/5fl oz double cream
150g/5oz freshly grated Parmesan
1 tbsp unsalted butter

Peel and slice the parsnips into eighth-of-an-inch rounds. Place in a bowl and season with the salt and black pepper, thyme and garlic.

Add the butter to a saucepan and place over a low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and cook until soft and translucent – this will take between eight and 10 minutes. Once soft, remove from the heat and add to the bowl in which the parsnips are sitting. Using the same pan, add the stock and cook until reduced by a third, add the cream and cook for a minute or so longer.

While the stock is reducing, turn the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.

Pour the stock over the parsnips and toss lightly to combine. Arrange nicely in an oven-proof dish. Scatter over the Parmesan – dot the remaining butter and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until the parsnips are tender and the top golden-brown.

This gratin tastes best when it is still hot, so serve immediately.