Parsnips and Apples With Marsala

Parsnips and Apples With Marsala

In 1954, the food writer Elizabeth David introduced her fellow Brits to carote al Marsala via her book “Italian Food.” She warned readers that Marsala and carrots may sound like “an unsuitable combination,” but lists the dish as one of her favorite vegetable recipes. Simmering the carrot in sweet wine until the liquid reduces to the point of becoming a glaze creates a delightful candying effect. The approach works equally well for parsnips and apples, which also have a natural sweetness, and any number of other root vegetables, like sunchokes or salsify.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Peel the parsnips and halve them lengthwise, if very thick. Peel and core the apples. Chop the parsnips and apples into 1-inch pieces.
  2. Step 2

    Melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the parsnips and apples and cook, stirring continuously, until evenly coated with the butter, about 2 minutes.
  3. Step 3

    Add the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring continuously, until the sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Pour in the Marsala, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Add enough water to just barely cover the parsnips (about 2 cups). Bring to a simmer again, adjusting the heat as needed, then cover the pan and continue to simmer until the parsnips are just crisp-tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    Remove the lid, increase the heat and bring the liquid to a boil, reducing it until it turns into a syrupy sauce coating the parsnips and apples, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley, if using.