Parsnips are one of those root veggies people ask me about a lot. As in,”What are these and what do I do with them?”
From what I gather, they are a staple in CSA boxes and also plentiful in the winter months at food banks that are fortunate enough to be able to distribute produce.
Full disclosure here: I am not a huge fan of parsnips. They are a bit too close to a carrot for my liking. Carrots are the only veggie I truly don’t like. I know. I’m a weirdo. BUT… I will still eat both carrots & parsnips, especially if the price is right.
Parsnips do have a lot of nutritional stuff going on for them. Just half of a large parsnip has 50 units of vitamin A, 541 mgs potassium, 16 mgs of vitamin C , and “healthy increments of phosphorus and iron” (Thanks, Bert Greene for that info ). Way back when, Roman aristocracy were the only ones who ate parsnips, usually highly sweetened and as a dessert. And now, here we are in modern times where the noble parsnip is now “second-class citizens of the vegetable world, ordinary, peasant-like and low in price.”
So, if you’re not a fan of the taste, you can comfort yourself w/ nutritional information and pretend you’re a Roman aristocrat to help get you through.
My trick for food my kids (or myself) aren’t crazy about is to cook it with something that helps mask it. This weekend, this is what I decided to use parsnips for… a simple hash with eggs. Basically, just peel (or don’t ) and dice both potatoes and parsnips.
The beautiful thing about this (as a non-fan of parsnips) is that you can’t really tell the difference between the taters & snips.
I also added a few cloves of garlic, chopped.
In a skillet, heat oil and throw the veggies in. I seasoned with rosemary, thyme, salt & pepper. You can use whatever herbs you happen to have. My daughter likes to use cumin and hungarian paprika for a bit spicier version.
Cook until both potatoes and parsnips are tender, about 10 minutes. That’s it!