Parsnips are in! (Organic + biodynamic) 7 incredible ways to enjoy.

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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.

Why?

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…

Tips:

  • 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:

1. Breakfast

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…

2. Salads

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.

Autumn parsnip and chestnut salad is about as seasonal (and delicious) as you can get. This parsnip, blue cheese and hazelnut salad will have you salivating.

Parsnips will add a whole new dimension of deliciousness to your leaves!

3. Soup

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.

Sound appetizing? Parsnip is perfect in this farmer’s market soup. Or, how about parsnip, almond and garlic soup for a creamy, flavoursome and wholesome boost.

4. Curries and stews

Spices and slow cooking truly do this humble root veg justice. Parsnip and chickpea curry will transform the way you view this root veg, while this jungle curry  is a bowl of wintery, spiced goodness.

5. Roast

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…)

6. Stock

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).

7. Cake

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.

Here’s an inviting recipe for parsnip and maple syrup cake. Or how about Scandinavian spiced parsnip cake? Mmm, or zesty orange and ginger parsnip cake

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Feeling inspired?

Get your Sussex parsnips today!

Did you try any of these recipes? How do you like to eat and cook parsnips? Let us know! (@finandfarm)


Image: Parsnip Cake 7 by jules/ Flickr (CC)

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Parsnips are in! (Organic + biodynamic) 7 incredible ways to enjoy.

Wild Garlic – How to use it

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Our Morghew Park Wild Garlic

Wild garlic is prolific at this time of year, if you know what you are looking for and have time to don your wellies and head out into the countryside for the few weeks it is around.

The first bit is the easy bit – it’s easy to find as you can smell the gentle whiff of garlic in the air – but if time is not your friend, then heading out to shady woods before everyone else has got there first, might not work for you.

Our garlic is foraged on the private Morghew estate by the owners, so there is no risk to the environment by stripping the woodland.  Morghew Estate is set in the most stunning woodland and arable land (where our potatoes are grown, by the way) and is managed sensitively and responsibly.

Continue reading “Wild Garlic – How to use it”

Wild Garlic – How to use it

Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheddar Dumplings

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I keep being drawn back to this chef’s website simply because their food photography is so good it makes me hungry enough to want to just dive into the kitchen and cook.

This soup is just so smooth, velvety and moreish…a real hats off to simple produce that can be sourced around Sussex easily…well for the next couple of weeks, at any rate.  Our fabulous Nutbourne tomatoes will be finishing soon, so there isn’t too much opportunity left to enjoy a bowlful.

The cheddar dumplings are so simple, and an upgrade from our usual crusty bread and cheese on the side.  This recipe calls for Davidstow Cheddar but we pooh-pooh stuff from all that way over the other side of the country as we have our own amazing Sussex Cheddar – both organic and non-organic.  Cheddar is hearty and sweet, but we also like to experiment with cheese with a slightly nuttier and more mature flavour – like the Olde Sussex, from The Traditional Dairy or Lords Burgh from Plumpton Down.

This soup works with a ripe classic vine tomato and don’t skimp on quality.  Tinned tomatoes are great as a cupboard basic, but there is a massive difference in tomato soup as canned or even tetrapak-ed tomatoes will leave a slight metallic aftertaste.  A good ripe fresh vine tomato will give a more rounded edge.

Any breadcrumbs will also work, but Monica Shaw, this recipe’s cook recommends wholemeal – and we found they did make a difference to the flavour.

Ingredients

  • Roasted tomato soup

  • 1kg tomato, ripe
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of basil, small, separated into leaves and stalks
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • olive oil
  • Dumplings

  • 2 slices of bread, crumbled, or approximately 55g of breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 55g of Cheddar cheese
  • salt
  • black pepper
1.  Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
2.  Cut the tomatoes in half and arrange cut-side up in a baking dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper
3.  Bake for approximately 1 hour, until the tomatoes are totally soft and beginning to char around the edges
4.  Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the onion, carrot and garlic. Cook for approximately 7 minutes until softened. Meanwhile, chop the basil stalks and addd to the pan. Cook for another minute
5.  Add the roasted tomatoes (including any juices that seeped out) to the pan along with the vegetable stock. Stir, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down. Cover and leave to simmer for about 10-20 minutes (until the carrots are very soft)
6.  Blitz the soup in a blender then return to the pan and gently reheat
7.  Meanwhile, make the dumplings by mixing together all of the ingredients – you should have a moist doughy mix that’s easy to shape into small balls (about the size of a teaspoon)
8.  Drop the balls into the hot soup and simmer with a lid on for approximately 10 minutes
9.  Ladle the soup and dumplings into bowls and garnish with grated cheddar cheese and fresh basil leaves before serving
Roasted Tomato Soup with Cheddar Dumplings