Vegetable Spotlight: Parsnips

Parsnips look like the carrot’s less-attractive cousin. But don’t be fooled, this little root vegetable is so much more! Before industrial sugar became widely available the parsnip was employed as a sweetener, saving many a sweet-toothed European. However, this vegetable should not be boiled down to “ugly veggie” and “lackluster sweetener.” It also has magical healing properties (alright, magical enough). Compounds isolated from the parsnip have both anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. This lovely root should especially appeal to all you inflamed, fungi-ridden vegetable lovers.

The parsnip completes its life cycle in two years, making it a biennial plant. You can find them all year long, but they’re at their peak from fall to spring. Despite their carrot-like look and turnip-esque taste, the parsnip is best used similar to the potato.

Now that you have all the parsnip trivia you’ll ever need to be a hoot at your next potluck, it’s time for parsnip consumption.  Peeling methods are vital for the enjoyment of the parsnip. Parsnips are best enjoyed aged like a fine wine. I would recommend that you do not attempt to peel small, young parsnips. As for older parsnips, I recommend peeling very thinly to ensure you get the most out of your vegetable. Despite the roughness of their skin, the parsnip will soften when cooked.

I am definitely a breakfast/brunch type of person, so seeing parsnip hashbrowns excited me a little too much. Here is the recipe, plus a few others!

For all you brunch lovers: Parsnip Hasbrowns https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1736/parsnip-hash-browns

Got way too many root vegetables with your Market Share? Roast them ALL with rosemary: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/bobby-deen/rosemary-roasted-root-vegetables

Who says you can’t have your cake and vegetables too? Parsnip & Maple Syrup Cake: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/12983/catherine-berwicks-parsnip-and-maple-syrup-cake

Definitely check out these two websites for all your parsnip needs: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/top-10-ways-parsnips

http://blog.cookingchanneltv.com/2014/02/14/how-to-use-parsnips/