It’s parsnip season and we’re rooting for this underrated winter veg with fabulous facts and some truly tasty recipes…
Get to the root
A close rellie of the carrot, parsnips have a distinctive earthy, honeyed flavour (they become sweeter after a frost when the starch turns to sugar). It’s because of this sweetness that they were used in jams and cakes before sugar came along.
Full of fibre, vitamin C, folate and manganese, these veggies were a pretty big deal in the European diet until the introduction of the potato in the 16th century. And as sugar become more widely available, their popularity fell further.
Pick of the parsnips
A roast dinner wouldn’t be complete without them though so, fortunately, they’re still readily available, especially from September to March when they’re in season in the UK.
Choose those small to medium in size for best flavour; the small ones won’t even need peeling. Go for firm parsnips that look even in colour and aren’t covered in wispy bits. They should stay fresh for about a week stored in the fridge.
In a snip
Here’s how to get more of these scrummy veggies now. A thick, warming soup served with a swirl of yogurt, chilli oil and some gorgeous parsnip crisps, this spiced parsnip soup is perfect for those nippy autumn days.
Parsnip dip? Yep! Move over hummus, a parsnip skordalia is a seasonal treat you need to try. Dunk with warm pitta or flatbread.
Laced with herbs and spices, this nice and crispy parsnip rosti is all levels of yum. It makes a tasty brunch/lunch option but equally can be served up with a roast dinner or hearty stew.
This masterful feta nut roast is crowned with buttery, maple glazed parsnips. It can be made up to three days ahead or even frozen for a future feast so why not earmark it for the festive season?
Parsnips have a great texture for spiralizing so if you’re after a super healthy, alternative pasta-style dish, try this parsnip noodle chicken alfredo.
A beef and ale pudding screams autumn Sunday lunch and we’re loving this parsnip loaded version. Of course, you could add a bit more with these irresistible homemade vegetable crisps or a serving of honey-mustard parsnip and potato bake.
Bake ‘em good!
As we mentioned, parsnips were used to sweeten cakes before the advent of sugar – and they still can be! Try this parsnip and maple syrup cake, which uses apple and maple for extra sweetness.
Or if you want to squeeze even more parsnip into Sunday dinner, how about this sticky toffee parsnip pudding? Drizzle with caramel sauce and a dollop of ice cream and dive right in!
Right, that’s enough drooling. Pass us the parsnips…