Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Delicious Parsnips...Yes, Parsnips

I read recently on the history of the Parsnips. Nothing deep, just a few web entries and it is a fascinating veggie!

Why the sudden interest in a veggie that I've never eaten before? Well, because I decided to grown some and I thought I should perhaps know something about it. Growing parsnips wasn't so much an impulse addition to the garden but wanting to encourage all of us in the family, (read teenaged nieces and nephew), to expand our veggie choices. I thought if they planted them and watched them grow, they would like them more.

Anyway, even afer watching them grow, I still didn't know what they tasted like so I went and searched them out in stores until I found some very nice fresh parsnips. Here is my recipe:

  • Equal number of carrots and parsnips, I used 1 pound each
  • Olive Oil
  • Honey
  • Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar (get a good one)
Just scrub down or lightly peel the carrots and parsnips; layer on cookie sheets lined with foil, toss until coated with olive oil and roast until tender in a 400 degree oven. It can take the parsnips a bit longer as they tend to be fatter at the top. It takes about 20-25 minutes and they'll get a bit brown, which is good, on the edges. Check the parsnips for tenderness!

On the stove, heat up about 2 tablespoons vinegar and honey with 1 teaspoon of a very good balsamic vinegar. Simmer a minute or so then pour it over the finished vegetables. Serve.

I found that the parsnips have a really tremendous flavor! A bit like a carrot, but smooth and a bit nutty with a hint of starch (like potato) but with a very smooth texture. Lovely! They even look lovely, don't they?

Why grow parsnips? Parsnips were basically one of the staples, like potatoes now, in old Europe. They can be stored in the earth they are grown in and while they will stop growing when the frost hits, they just get sweeter for it. They last in storage for incredible lengths and are quite disease resistant and easy to grow as carrots. They are also as filling, perhaps moreso, than other standard staples like potato. In fact, I found that you can easily feel overful as they seem to be digested a bit slower.

Why isn't everyone eating and growin parsnips, considering all their positives? All that can be conclusively stated is that the use of parsnips as a staple simply didn't take here in the U.S., despite the fact that it was such where settlers from Europe originated. I think it is psychological myself.

If you consider that this was a staple and in early spring, starvation food that was eaten day in and day out, you might see how coming to America might make a person never want to eat them again.

Hopefully, the wonderful nature of these lovely veggies will win over our hearts again. I'm certainly convinced! Even Boscoe thought they smelled very good roasting.


Holly said...

I have never eaten a Parsnip either. They sure looked tasty! I will have to make some. I wonder if they grow in Florida? I will look it up and get back to you. I may have to add them to my winter garden. I wonder if the plants on the previous blog are Jasmine? The star-shaped flower kind of looks like it. I know there are many varieties so I can't be sure. Anyway, give Boscoe a big kiss from me.

ChristyACB said...


It turned out to be the dreaded Chinese privet I think. Yuck. This one is behaving but I'll have to watch it like a hawk!

The second one was Mulberry. I have already enjoyed some. It is pretty funny to watch me tryng to get them!