Parsnip and semolina flatbreads

Parsnip rosemary flatbread

Parsnip rosemary flatbread

It’s been a heavy sort of a week. Everything feels a little more dangerous and uncertain than it generally does in our part of the world. It would be easy to fall into an anxious frame of mind, and hide under the covers all day. I’ve got all sorts of heavy thoughts in my head, because I’m that kind of person, and all sorts of serious things to talk about. But the thoughts that keep rising to the surface are much lighter, brighter thoughts. They’re about a cartoon. We have a fairly strict NO TV BEFORE SCHOOL policy in our house. But, like all our fairly strict policies, it’s made to be broken. Lately we’ve been watching one 11-minute episode of Adventure Time each morning, and I can’t tell you how much it’s grown on me! It’s the story of Jake the Dog and Finn the Human, they live together (without parental supervision!) in a giant rambling tree house. They go on adventures. They wander their strange world looking for evil to fight and people to save–they’re self-proclaimed heroes. The beautiful thing about them is that they’re like children–they’re like my children–they’re silly and they make dumb fart jokes, they don’t fully understand the adult world around them, but they wade through it anyway. They don’t fully understand their own emotions, but they try. They’re cheerful, they’re pranksters, they’re good friends, they’re up for anything. They seem fearless, and in many episodes it’s their fearlessness that saves them. Because in the cartoon, as in life, oftentimes the evildoers’ only real power is to cause fear and manipulate people based on their fear. But they’re not fearless. In my favorite episode, Finn confronts his fear of the ocean, using Jake’s five-step method (which includes rhyming couplets!). I’m scared of the ocean! It was bizarrely comforting to learn that Finn is too. And he never overcomes that fear, he learns to embrace it, because all heroes have a flaw. Finn and Jake live in the land of Ooo, which is a very strange place. But while all the strange situations feel so familiar, and the characters feel so human–flawed and morally complicated, petty and generous, brave and foolish. There’s a childlike logic to the show that makes it feel so perfect–that makes it comforting and inspiring in the way that talking to Malcolm and Isaac is comforting and inspiring. The way they look at the world is so rationally nonsensical and hopeful. I like to walk to school with Isaac humming the end credits theme song in my head. “We can wander through the forest and do so as we please.” That’s what we do! We wander through the forest together. And it’s a little easier to face a heavy scary world if you do so as heroes, looking for adventure, trying to be righteous, trying to muddle through.

These flatbreads contain some pureed parsnip, which makes them nice and soft and flavorful. And they have rosemary and semolina, which makes them even nicer and more flavorful. Malcolm loved them and asked if he could have one for his lunch the next day, but the dog ate the leftover flatbreads right off the table! Bad girl!!

Here’s the ending theme of Adventure Time.


1 t yeast
1 t sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup flour

1 cup semolina flour
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t salt
2 t rosemary, chopped
1 t thyme
2 smallish parsnips, peeled, chopped and boiled till soft, plus the water they were boiled in

Olive oil for the bowl

Combine the yeast, sugar, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water in a large bowl. Set in a warm place for about 15 minutes, to get foamy.

Purée the parsnips with about 1/2 cup of the water they were boiled in until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and the parsnip purée to the yeast mixture and stir well. Add enough extra parsnip-cooking water to make a soft but workable dough – it should be quite wet and sticky. Knead it for about 3 or 4 minutes, then roll in an oil lined bowl. Set aside to rise for an hour and a half to two hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 and put two baking sheets in to warm. Break the dough into 4 parts and roll them to be about 1/4 inch thick. They’re sticky, but they shouldn’t be too hard to roll out.

Put them on the hot sheets. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes, till it’s brown and spotted on the bottom. Flip and cook for a few minutes till brown spots form on the other side.

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4 thoughts on “Parsnip and semolina flatbreads

  1. Adventure Times sounds a bit like a Jane Austen novel. W/o the eliza/darcy sex tension.
    And, maybe, w/o fart jokes.
    , which i love, but Eliza and Darcy were incapable of farting.

    3 cheers for farts and flatbeads. And I’ll give this recipe a try.

  2. Lovely dish! Would you be happy to link it in to the new Food on Friday which is all about parsnip and pumpkin? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers

  3. It’s been a while since you shared this recipe, but I would like to try it. I’m curious to know if you’ve ever tried baking it as a loaf. Do you think that would work, if I did not divide the risen dough into 4 parts, just baked it as 1 part in a loaf pan? Thanks so much for your feedback!

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