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 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.