Goodness, is it that time of year already?
Parsnips are here!
While they may seem to go hand-in-hand with Christmas in the British kitchen, there’re many ways to enjoy this comforting root veg. We’ve got a few ideas up our sleeve to keep them as a cool-season staple – not a once-a-year show.
From breakfast (really!) to dinner, parsnip’s wonderful earthy sweetness is one you simply need in your life.
Other than their palatability – parsnips are good for you.
This root veg is positively packed with essential minerals and phytonutrients to support your body. Parsnips are anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective and immune-enhancing.
Our locally grown, organic and bio-dynamic parsnips are positively bursting with health benefits. Definitely a reason to include in our diets!
What are parsnips exactly?
Related to carrots, celery, celeriac, dill and parsley, parsnips are a root vegetable native to Europe. Spicy and sweet in flavour, parsnips have been a staple in our diets since roman times.
In the absence of honey and cane sugar, parsnips were the sweet treat in medieval England.
How? After the first frost, when parsnips are still in the ground, the starches change to sugar. (This is why Christmas parsnips taste so good roasted and caramelised…)
Fortunately for us, these days, we associate them as a savoury food. (Did you see our Sussex chocolate post?)
What happened to our love of parsnips?
Well – potatoes! Parsnips were pushed aside with the introduction of potatoes as a central source of starch in our diets.
But, today, there’s definitely room for both on our tables…
- Heavy, dense parsnips are the best. These are the freshest – and tastiest. Our parsnips are dug fresh from the earth and delivered straight away for maximum enjoyment.
- Don’t peel! The skin is rich in nutrients – and flavour! Plus, our organic, bio-dynamic Sussex parsnips are pesticide-residue free. Just give ’em a good scrub!
- Baby parsnips can be finely sliced or grated into salads. Very large parsnips can have their cores cut out before cooking for a sweeter taste.
And now for the good part…
Ways to enjoy:
Parsnips are delicious any time of day. Breakfast is no exception! Try a creamy, sweet spiced parsnip porridge (honestly, it’s exquisite).
More savoury than sweet tooth? (Or perhaps just not up for the idea of parsnip porridge…). Parsnip hash-browns are a breakfast must. Or, how about a chicken and parsnip breakfast bake to keep you going…
I know. It’s hardly the weather to have you craving a salad. But, keep it seasonal and cool-weather salads will be a flavoursome delight.
Parsnips will add a whole new dimension of deliciousness to your leaves!
Naturally creamy and comforting, you can dig in with some fresh crusty bread and cool, salted Sussex butter after a brisk walk in the cool wintery air.
4. Curries and stews
Roasting caramelises this root to utter perfection. You can simply slice and cover with oil and spices for a fuss-free side. Or, take note from Jamie Oliver on the perfect way to roast.
Our suggestion? Enjoy in the ultimate comforting way: Parmesan baked parsnips. (So, so moreish…)
Want to create the most delicious food you’ve ever cooked in your life?
Homemade stock is the answer! You’ll wonder how a stock cube could ever compare…
There’s no limit to what you can put in. Simply slowly simmer veg, fresh herbs and seasoning of choice. Sieve the liquid from the main ingredients once cooked, and use immediately or freeze for the future.
Aromatic and sweet parsnips are the key to creating an intense stock. Here’s a recipe for inspiration (plus how to make your own stock powder).
Surprising, I know. But it may just be one of the most delicious things you’ll eat. Flavoursome and dense in texture, carrots can step aside and let parsnips steal the cake show for once.
Image: Parsnip Cake 7 by jules/ Flickr (CC).