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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oven-Roasted Parsnips

Parsnips have a sweet and slightly nutty flavor, and honestly I really like them
so I'm always thinking of ways to use them
Oven-Roasted Parsnips

Slightly sweet and spiced to taste, these are a fun alternative to regular oven-baked french fries.

What you Need:


1 1/2 lbs parsnips, peeled  quartered and sliced thin
3 tablespoons olive oil
A little cayenne (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or more, to taste)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

How to Make:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees.
Layer parsnips on baking sheet in single layer.
Sprinkle with next three ingredients, tossing well to ensure everything is coated well.
Roast 15 minutes on bottom rack, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle with the garlic and roast until well browned, about 15 minutes longer.
Let cool slightly, adjust salt if necessary and serve.

Parsnip Cooking Tips and Measures

• Parsnips need to be peeled. For cooked parsnips, many prefer to boil or steam the washed root and then scrape off the skin to preserve nutritional value.

• Small, tender parsnips may be peeled and grated raw into salads.

• Parsnips are best roasted in the oven, although many like them steamed and mashed likepotatoes.

• If your parsnips are over-sized, you will need to trim out the bitter core before or after cooking.

• To avoid mushy parsnips, add them to soups and stews near the end of the cooking time.

• Peeled and pared parsnips will turn dark when exposed to the air, so cook them right away or hold them in water with a bit of lemon juice added.

• Parsnips may be substituted for carrots in most recipes and vice versa.

• Herbs complementary to parsnips include basil, dill weed, parsley, thyme, and tarragon.

• 1 pound parsnips = 4 servings.

The parsnip, botanically-known as Pastinaca sativum, is a starchy root vegetable resembling an overgrown ivory-skinned carrot. Parsnips grew wild in Europe and were considered a luxury item for the aristocracy in ancient Rome. Due to their natural sweet and nutty flavor, parsnips were usually served sweetened with honey or in fruited cakes and desserts.

The Europeans brought parsnips to the United States in the 16th century, but to this day, they are not as popular with Americans as their carrot cousins. Although starchy like a potato, the parsnip is considered nutritionally superior.

If you grow your own, this root vegetable is best harvested after the first frost since the cold converts the starch to sugar, sweetening the parsnip and mellowing the flavor.

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