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
- Balsamic Vinegar (get a good one)
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.