Parsnips

We’ve started digging our parsnips now that we’ve had some frosty mornings to sweeten up the roots.  If you aren’t familiar with parsnips, keep reading.  I’ve copied some general information and three mouth-watering recipes I found online at MarthaStewart.com.  Follow the link for even more parsnip recipes.

Parsnip Basics

In Season: Parsnips require cold weather to convert their starches into sugar and develop their appealingly sweet flavor, so they are harvested in the late fall, after the frost sets in. They store well and are available throughout the winter and spring.

What to Look For: Parsnips look similar to ivory or pale-yellow carrots, with a bulbous top tapering down to a skinny root. Choose small, firm parsnips that are not limp or shriveled.

How to Store: Keep parsnips loosely wrapped in the produce drawer of the refrigerator, and use within two to three weeks.

Creamy Parsnip Soup   
Everyday Food, November 2005

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound prepared sliced leeks (2 cups)
1 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium baking potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Leek garnish (see below)
Directions
Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks (reserving 1/2 cup for garnish). Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.

Add parsnips, apples, potato, broth, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return it to pot; stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Leek Garnish.

To make leek garnish, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add reserved 1/2 cup leeks; cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Glazed Turnips and Parsnips with Maple Syrup   
Everyday Food, November 2008

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield Serves 6

Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths (halved if thick)
1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
1 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Directions
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add parsnips and turnips; cook, stirring once, until beginning to brown, 2 minutes.

Add broth, pure maple syrup, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until crisp-tender, 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook over medium-high until parsnips and turnips are tender and liquid is syrupy, 7 to 9 minutes more (there should be only a small amount of liquid remaining).

Remove skillet from heat; add butter, and swirl skillet until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Apple-Parsnip Mash
Everyday Food, January 2010

Yield Serves 4

Ingredients
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound apples (such as Honeycrisp or Fuji), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions
In a medium saucepan, combine parsnips, apples, and water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, until parsnips are completely tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor, add unsalted butter, and process until smooth. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

Cook’s Note
Good with roasted pork, turkey, or chicken

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