Improv Challenge: Carrot, Parsnip and Ginger Puree over Risotto


It feels like just yesterday I was participating for the first time in the Improv Challenge in January. But, a whole month has flown by and here it is, time again to participate for February. The two ingredients for February were carrots and ginger.

I had a really hard time trying to figure out what to make for this recipe. I only like carrots in their raw form and I wanted the two ingredients to be main ingredients in the recipe. This seriously limited my recipe search. I was debating between an Asian coleslaw and thai noodles when I planned a parsnip puree for dinner one night.

The idea to puree carrots, ginger and parsnips popped into my head and I thought they'd go great served over risotto.

Carrot, Parsnip and Ginger Puree over Risotto
Inspired by: Tyler Florence
Servings: 1 1/2 cups puree
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Puree Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and coined
    • 1/4 cup parsnips, peeled and coined
    • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    Risotto Ingredients:
    • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 cup Arborio rice
    • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
    • 1/4 cup onion, diced
    • 1/4 cup dry white wine
    • 1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tbsp. parsley
    • salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients for the puree and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the carrots and parsnips are fork tender.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth over low heat.
3. In a large skillet, melt 1 1/2 tbs. of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until the onion is soft. Add 1 tbs. of butter and the rice and stir until the rice is lightly golden. 
4. Add the white wine to the rice and stir until the rice has absorbed the wine. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock and stir occasionally until the rice has absorbed the wine. Repeat with the remaining 3 cups of chicken stock.
5. Once you've added the last cup of chicken stock to the rice, transfer the puree ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until pureed or you reach the desired consistency. Transfer to a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, parsley and remaining butter. Spoon into bowls and top with the puree mixture.

The color on this is incredibly pretty but it didn't quite have the taste I was going for. I was concerned about using too much fresh ginger and the taste being too strong, but I think you could easily double it without issue. The carrot flavor came through the strongest.

Since this didn't turn out the way I expected, I did debate on scrapping it and making a new recipe but I finally decided that just because it wasn't exactly what I expected it to be didn't mean it was a bad recipe. The puree would also go nicely with a roast or with more liquid, it'd be a great soup if you someone who enjoys the taste of carrots.


  1. I love the savory application of the two ingredients. Well done!

  2. What a delicious way to enjoy the challenge ingredients and risotto, great recipe.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Improv Cooking Challenge entry: Shrimp & Avocado Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing

    Cook Lisa Cook

  3. What a creative use of the improve ingredients. I didnt even think of a savory dish. This sounds wonderful.

  4. Looks sooo tasty! Thanks for sharing! Come Check out my Carrot Cake Ice Cream!

  5. Looks like a great combination, and I love seeing some savory recipes! Found you through the challenge!

  6. The color is beautiful. I'm sorry it isn't what you expected, but like you said, for the person who really loves carrots, it may not be enough flavor! :)

  7. Mmm, risotto is one of my favorites :) looks delicious, and perfect for the challenge! Well done!

  8. I am so glad you made this, it sounds fantastic. I can just imagine all of the lovely flavors and textures in this dish.


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