Monday, 15 March 2010


The French seem to be a bit picky about vegetables. We fed sweet corn (maize) to our guests at a dinner party a while back, and they were asking "Do people (as well as cows) eat these?". The same goes for parsnips. (French for parsnip: le panais). You can buy them both in the veg section at the supermarket, but still.

I love parsnips. Boiled to soften them and then crisped up in some nice hot, greasy animal fat, they're wonderful. They taste sweeter after they've been frosted, since they make some kind of sweet-tasting anti-freeze. Yum!

Last year I was inspired to grow parsnips by a book "cook your own veg" (as if!) by Carol Klein. Parsnip seeds germinate slowly, so Carol instructed me to "mark the row of parsnip seeds with radishes", without giving me any idea of how I should do this. So I planted the parsnips alongside the same number of radish seeds, and sure enough, there came a nice row of radishes. These were so dense that they suffocated the parsnips. When I got round to pulling them up there were a few straggly parsnip seedlings that I left behind, and to my surprise they grew into a decent row of parsnips.

I have been eating them all Winter, and now they are starting to re-grow. If I leave them be they will just run to seed, so I dug the remaining ones up today. They can stay in the fridge until needed.


Ribbon said...

Yum... nothing better than eating from your own garden.

Lia said...

One of my favourite veg Parsnips.
Por things are much misunderstood.
Roasted is my favourite way although I do them differently to you.
I just scrub them, never peel them and top and tail them, although I do make the tail into a sort of point which always is the sweetest part. Then I cook them in with the potatoes and a little olive oil. Near the end I take them out put them in a separate dish and pour a little honey on them.
I could eat platefuls of them.
Another thing I do with them is make crisps. Wash them then take your potato peeler and just peel away until you have a pile of peelings.
Next take a pan and add olive oil, not a lot and place pan in oven till oil is hot. Put in the parsnip peelings and mix well so that they are covered in a light coating of oil, add salt, pepper and herbs as you desire. Spread them out evenly, then place back into hot oven, cook until golden brown and crispy. This can take a little practise, I have had friends who have had to do it a couple of times before they got it right, but it is worth it.

much love

Molly Potter said...

Mashed parnip with a little butter - I cannot get enough of!

Lovely little gang of parnips.

Cogitator said...

I'm going to try your parsnip crisp recipe, Lia, I will let you know how it goes.

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