Experimentation of Taste

A food blog that catalogs discovery of foods available through CSA Farms Shares and other arenas and the recipes to enhance the flavors.


Don’t Get So Parsnippety

About a week ago, I had a friend over for some cooking, relaxation and a good movie. We had a side salad and main dish of fish topped with veggies. Something was missing. That something turned out to be parsnips. I had seen this recipe years ago, but hadn’t been near a parsnip until it appeared in my CSA share.

The only hitch to the meal was a minor mishap with my favorite tool. This side of parsnip & chestnut croquettes really made the meal. They were like healthy mozzarella sticks. So mentioning parsnips might be the only turnoff for this recipe. Thanks for reading my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging over at Kayln’s Kitchen this week.

Storage: Remove the tops and placing the parsnips in the fridge. They will keep in a plastic bag for several weeks. If you happen to grow this root vegetable, store them in the ground and pick them fresh. In many places, you can leave them in the ground during the winter until spring growth starts. For longer storage, you can blanch, cool, thoroughly dry and then freeze them. Also parsnips stay nicely in a root cellar for 8-10 days or longer based on your location.

Uses: Parsnips can be eaten raw, baked, sautéed, steamed, or boiled and mashed like potatoes. Parboil these white roots before adding them to dishes, as they usually need a long cooking time to develop and release their flavor. Watch out for overcooking, however, because they can get mushy. During the middle ages parsnips, were used as a sweetener like carrots. They were the main starch since potatoes had not been introduced. For variety, substitute parsnips for carrots, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Wash them as you would carrots, but they only need to be peeled if tough. In less common culinary applications, parsnips are made into jams, desserts, beer and wine. This is mostly found in traditional English cooking. Parsnip wine has a sherry like flavor to it and is a highly prized country wine.

Flavor Enhancers: Parsnips have a nutty, spicy or peppery flavor that blends well with Cinnamon, Ginger, Orange, and Tarragon. Butter and honey are a simple way to bring out the flavors.

Health Notes: Parsnips are an excellent source of vitamin C and Folic Acid. They are believed to be first-rate detoxifiers and help fight some cancers.

Safety Notes: If you are looking for these in the wild be very careful since they look very similar to poison hemlock.

This recipe utilized some very creative improvisation. My husband, God bless him, bought water chestnuts instead of chestnuts. My friend tried to soften them with boiling, but of course water chestnuts are eternally crunchy. We also had a hard time following the directions.

Parsnip & Carrot Croquettes

Loosely adapted from The Best-Ever Vegetarian Cookbook by Nicola Graimes and repeated in The Vegetable Encyclopedia and Cookbook by Christine Ingram verbatim.

  • ½ lb parsnips and carrots, cut roughly into small pieces
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 T cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 ½ oz seasoned bread crumbs
  • walnut oil or other vegetable oil for frying  (this is to make up for the lack of nuts)

  1. Cover parsnip and carrots with enough water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes
  2. Melt the butter in a butter warmer or saucepan and cook garlic till fragrant. Drain the parsnip and carrot mixture and mash with garlic butter. Stir in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Mix egg till sticky. Mix in bread crumbs till just combined.
  3. Form 1 Tablespoon amounts into logs and place in hot oil. Using a slotted spoon. Turn till all sides are browned.
  4. Drain on a paper towel and serve.

please forgive the lack of extra photos. You can see the in process photos here. Blogger is crashing firefox every time I try to compose and add pictures.


Blogger Kalyn said...

Sorry you're having Blogger issues, but this is a great post. When I was reading it, I realized I haven't ever cooked parsnips, and only eaten them a couple of times. To be honest, I can't remember if I liked them, but yours look great!

9/20/2006 9:13 PM  
Blogger mickey said...

It's too bad parsnip is kind of an ugly name, because they are so delicious. Whenever I serve them everyone always asks about the delicious "white carrots". They are also delicious roasted ad pureed with a pear or two.

9/25/2006 7:36 AM  
Anonymous coffeepot said...

lol..love the parsnippety post.

9/26/2006 5:34 PM  
Blogger sher said...

I love parsnips and this recipe of yours makes my mouth water!

9/27/2006 2:23 AM  

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