parsnips, peeled, sliced into (1/2-in/1-cm) rounds
leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
cloves garlic, thinly sliced
finely chopped fresh thyme
regular or panko breadcrumbs
grated Parmesan cheese
finely chopped fresh chives
Add parsnips to large saucepan of boiling salted water. Cook 5 to 6 min until fork-tender. Drain well.
Meanwhile, grease 13 X 9-in. (3-L) baking dish. Set aside. In large high-sided skillet or saucepan over medium heat, melt 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter. Add leeks, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper; cook 5 min. until leeks are softened. Stir in flour; cook 2 to 3 min. Gradually whisk in milk and saffron until sauce is smooth. Continue whisking sauce while bringing to a boil. Stir in parsnips. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 6 to 7 min. until sauce is thickened.
Scrape into baking dish. (Make-Ahead: Cool parsnip mixture in baking dish; cover; keep chilled up to 1 day before proceeding with recipe.) Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Cover baking dish with foil, bake about 20 min., or until heated through.
Mix breadcrumbs, cheese and chives (Make-Ahead: Mix breadcrumb mixture 1 day ahead; cover, keep chilled until ready to use). Sprinkle on baked parsnip mixture; dot with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter. Broil 2 min. until topping is golden brown and crisp. Let stand 10 min. before serving.
Homemade breadcrumbs can be made by pulsing day-old bread in a food processor until the texture of coarse meal. Freeze up to 1 month in a re-sealable plastic bag.
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