Ingredient Introduction #14 – Parsnips

I think you’re going to have to drag me out of the produce section kicking and screaming. I love it there! Duh.

It’s time I went for that little bag that’s often hidden. You can barely see what’s inside. Still, I know it’s there, and I know it deserves a chance.

Meet the parsnip. It looks like the ghost of a carrot.

Pale, and pointy. Kinda long and tapered. This root veggie doesn’t have the sharp flavor of its orange cousin. It’s sweeter, and much more mild. I think it’s almost nutty.

The starch content makes it a great potato substitute. It’s rich in fiber and potassium, as well as other nutrients. The issue, though, is that most of the good stuff is close to the skin, so you’d have to eat it whole to get all the benefits.

I chose to peel them. I think they look more appetizing that way.

The shape inspired me to cook it two ways:

The top half is wide enough to make a good chip. They have fewer carbs than potatoes, so why not?

Preheat the oven to 425.

Cut the parsnip in half where the thick end starts to taper.

Thinly slice the thick end.

Put the slices in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, them sprinkle with garlic powder, chili powder, and salt. Toss.

Spread out the slices on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until brown and crispy. Beware, the smaller chips will burn quickly.

They are salty, sweet, and perfectly crispy!

For my second take, cut the lower half of the parsnips in half lengthwise to make strips. Toss them in a small baking dish with a handful of halved baby carrots.

They’re relatives, so they play nicely together. Add the juice of half an orange, a drizzle of olive oil, a tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary. And a big pinch of salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for about 30 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Toss them frequently and add another drizzle of oil if the dish looks dry.

They’re soft, and sweet, and the woody rosemary takes them to another level.

Next time, I’ll probably toss them in olive oil, season, then line up on a baking sheet and roast. I think they’ll caramelize better that way.

The chips were my favorite. I could eat them by the handful. If you’re brave, fry them. You’ll get a naughtier version of the baked kind.

You can boil the parsnips and mash or puree them. You can also mash them with a small boiled potato. I might give that a whirl next time, but I’ll definitely let them hang out in high heat again. There’s nothing like a roasted root vegetable. You can’t beat the texture or the flavor.

Introduce yourself to the parsnip. If you’ve already met, tell me your favorite way to hang out.

Tip: Try the parsnip chips with a sloppy joe. My sweet, tangy, spicy take pairs nicely with the sweet heat of the chips.

1 pound of ground beef
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Sriracha
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp water
Salt and pepper

Brown the beef, then drain it. Return it to the pan, add all ingredients but the water. Stir. Turn up the heat just a bit, and add the water. Stir. Let it bubble for a few minutes, then turn off the heat. Serve on a toasted bun.



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