Parsnips are a staple of winter veg boxes - you may find yourself getting them many weeks in a row.
Early in the season they're small and sweet. Later in the season they can be more woody.
- In Season?
- In some areas, parsnips may start appearing from as early as August. By September they should appear across the country.
- Smaller parsnips are less woody and are slightly sweeter than large ones.
Choose a parsnip while it's still firm and preferably without too much root damage (this allows bacteria in).
- Parsnips keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
If you've got muddy ones, don't bother cleaning them first. The mud helps protect them and can be scrubbed off just before cooking.
- There's no need to peel organic parsnips. Many of the nutrients are just below the surface of the skin.
Trim the stalk and the root and then you can:
Chop into chunks and boil for 10 minutes, until soft.
Do as above, then mash with butter.
Chop into "chip shapes" and bake with some olive oil for 30 minutes at 190C until soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside.
More Parsnip InformationParsnip is a root vegetable, with green leaves above the ground and the long, yellow-white edible root below the ground.
It's in season from about November to February and is an essential ingredient in winter food in the UK.
It's relatively sweet, like carrots, and contains good levels of potassium.
It is stronger in flavour than carrot.
On the dinner plate, it is often roasted, mashed or added to stews and soups.
It originates from Asia and has been eaten in Europe since ancient times. But its popularity waned after the introduction of the potato in our diet, which has largely taken its place.
Did you know...?
Frost is essential to help parsnip to develop its flavour, so it's best to wait until after the first frost before harvesting.
Parsnip And Chickpea Curry This is a great way to use winter root vegetables. Cooked slowly, they can develop a lovely sweet flavour, which works well as a curry. Ingredients
- 2 medium parsnips
- 1 medium onion, peeled, halved and sliced
- 200g chick peas, cooked
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- ½ inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
- 1 fresh chilli, deseeded & chopped (or equivalent dried chillies)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1 tin tomatoes, chopped
- Handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Heat a large pan with no oil. Add the cumin, coriander and fenugreek seeds and cook for about 2 minutes, until they start to "pop" and "jump". Remove from the heat and crush in a pestle & mortar or grinder.
- Heat the oil in the pan and gently saut? the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli until soft (about 10 minutes).
- Add the ground seeds and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Scrub or peel and chop the parsnip into ? inch cubes. Add to the pan and stir well to coat. Cover and saut? for 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and chick peas, stir well. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the parsnip is tender.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander leaves.
Serve with brown rice and a garnish of fresh natural yoghurt (optional). Keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days - in fact, the flavours improve on keeping.
- Chilli Non Carne
Not everyone wants to use minced beef or Quorn for a chilli, so here's a meat-free version that's proved a hit with even dedicated carnivores.
- Creamy Parsnip & Squash Bake
This recipe has been generously shared by the lovely folks over at Foodari.
- Filling Parsnip and Butterbean Risotto
This recipe was sent in by Sally, who says:
"After a long walk in the North Downs followed by a cold, wet cycle ride to my sister's I needed something hearty, hot and filling. And an added endorsement for this recipe - once the chopping was done, I actually managed to cook the whole thing with one hand whilst taking part in a conference call : ) Perhaps you can start a new category - one handed recipes!"
- Hallowe'en Soup
This recipe for Hallowe'en Soup is on test - but still available for you to try. Why not give it a go?
- Left-overs Pot Pie
This recipe was inspired by my dear friend Caroline P, an ex professional chef, who was describing to me her favourite way of using up savoury left-overs.
Do let us know if you try it. And if you want to use the left-overs without having to eat them immediately, these pies freeze really well.
- Lentil Dahl
This is a warming autumn supper, packed with nutrients from the lentils and veggies, giving your system a real boost.
- Mixed Veggie Roast
This recipe was sent in to us by Sue C in Fiji, who says:
"A veggie-lover's delight! There are a number of varieties of Sweet Potato - including white, orange and purple."
- Mushroom And Winter Veg Pie
This is a real winter warming treat. The flavour from the mushrooms makes the dish, so it’s important to get a variety of them, with strong flavours – no button mushrooms here, thank you…
- Parrot Pie
This recipe was sent in to us by Anita J. We love the title and we can't wait to try it, especially on a cold evening. Anita says:
"We created this recipe to use parsnips of which my partner and I are not big fans. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with ways of using the vegetables I get in the veg box as I feel veg should be used in season and we are a little spoiled these days with all round veg. The main ingredients are parsnip and carrot... hence "Parrot". This recipe has a great "flow" as while you are waiting for one stage to finish you can be preparing the next stage."
- Parsnip And Chickpea Curry
This is a great way to use winter root vegetables. Cooked slowly, they can develop a lovely sweet flavour, which works well as a curry.
- Pumpkin & Parsnip Cassoulet
This delicious vegetarian take on a classic recipe, was kindly provided by Foodari. We can't wait to have it again!
- Pureed Swede With Cheesy Crust
Many people are put off by childhood memories of swede – often confused with turnip. Yet its yellow-orange flesh can be delicious. This recipe tops pureed swede with a crunchy cheese and seed crust, to add some variety and extra vitamins. Also works well with turnip, parsnip or celeriac.
- Roast Parsnip
Roast Parsnip is a delicious and simple way of serving this autumnal vegetable. The roasting cooks the parsnip slowly, making them even sweeter than they already are. Throw in a few spare carrots and double the veggie quota. And experiment with adding herbs or even balsamic vinegar to the mix for extra flavour.
- Root Veg And Bean Stew
This ragout (stew) is great because, after the initial cooking, you just bung it in the oven and get on with something else.
Although the recipe suggests using parsnip and kohlrabi, you can use it to finish off almost any leftover vegetables at the end of the week.
It's great with jacket spuds or brown rice.
- Root Vegetable 'Crumble' with Cheesy Topping
This is a delicious recipe for baby or Chantenay carrots and other roots veggies. The secret ingredient gives it a warming kick. Make the most of your turnips, swedes, parsnips and sweet potatoes. You can also use celeriac or kohlrabi.
- Seasonal Veggie Casserole with Mushrooms, Nuts, Rice and Chickpeas
This recipe is SO delicious, AND it’s vegan. Double bubble!
- Spiced Parsnip Soup
Our lovely friends at Foodari have shared this recipe with us. It's easy to make and tastes delicious!
- Swede And Parsnip Soup
This simple soup makes a hearty meal on a winter's day. You can experiment by adding herbs and spices of your choice.
- Sweet Millet Surprise
This delicious recipe has been provided by Wholefood Harmony. As well as being delicious when made with parsnips, it also works very well with cauliflower and butternut squash.
- Winter Vegetable Minestrone Soup
Minestrone is a traditional, chunky soup, served with soup pasta. We often think of it as a summer dish, but with a little lateral thinking, you can create a soup that brightens up any winter’s day.
Got one? Send us your recipe!
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