Monday, March 2, 2009

Parsnip Passages

Behold the humble parsnip: a savory carrot, a sweet root vegetable, tasting of the garden and the earth and not quite to everyone's taste. I love them.

I'm not sure who first introduced me to the fact that you could peel then sliver them into chicken soup for a sweet pungency that permeates the kitchen, but that was my first encounter. Then, via their City restaurant these ladies introduced me to parsnip chips (gosh, how 80s is that?) which were such a marvel that my husband and I tried them at home. Instead of a mandoline we used a wide potato peeler to make sure we had paper thin strips of parsnips and then deep-fried them, turning them into a marvel of a chip. Lastly, the English may have once gotten a bad rap for their food, but their Sunday dinner is a dream of roast, and to accompany it, besides the horseradish you simply must have roast potatoes. Or even, roast parsnips.

Peel one pound of parsnips. Cut into wedges 3 inches long, halving or quartering the thickest parts. Blanch in boiling water for five minutes. Drain them, then drop them into a pyrex or other oven-friendly roasting pan. Pour 2-4 tablespoons of vegetable oil over them, and stir gently, making sure all bits of the pale root veg have a slight coating of oil. Place them in your preheated 425 degree oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, until well-browned turning once or twice to make sure it has a satisfyingly crispy exterior. Serve with anything you darn well please.


  1. I'm ashamed to admit that I've never cooked a parsnip, but you have inspired me. I will do it, if only to terrify my children, who are unworthy dining companions.

  2. Fine words indeed, but they'll butter no parsnips.

  3. Why are you arguing with the Economists? They know what's best for the resta us...