Parsnips are a root vegetable similar in appearance to a carrot but with a creamy white color. It has a nice sweet, earthy and nutty flavor.
When selecting, choose firm, crisp and small to medium-sized parsnips. They should have a good shape.
Avoid any that bend, have soft spots or are shriveled. There should be no sprouting at the top of the root. Long and thin parsnips tend to be stringy and should be avoided.
Storing and Handling:
When storing, place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, depending on the freshness of the product. Check on them often for deterioration.
Wash thoroughly under cold running water. Trim both ends and remove the peel with a vegetable peeler, then cut as desired.
Boil: cut into chunks, add to boiling water in a pan and cover. Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until tender.
Steam: cut into chunks, place in a steamer basket, place in pot of boiling water, cover and steam, 7-10 minutes if eating as is or 10-15 minutes if puréeing.
Microwave: place parsnip chunks in a covered microwave safe dish with a few tablespoons of water. Cook for approximately 4-6 minutes or until tender.
Salads: Fresh parsnip can be shredded and added to a variety of salads. You could also combine it with shredded cabbage for an interesting twist on regular coleslaw.
You can also cut parsnip into sticks and serve with other vegetables for dipping. It adds a unique flavor to any dip.
Mashed: Use cooked parsnip alone or in combination with potatoes and mash. Season with butter, herbs and salt and pepper and you will have a delicious and unique potato dish.
Roasted: Roasting brings out the full sweet flavor of this vegetable. Simply cut into chunks and toss with olive oil to coat and any herbs you may want (rosemary and sage are good choices). Roast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until soft and tender and caramelized on the outside.
Sauté: Sauté thinly sliced parsnip in a little butter or olive oil and, if desired, add a little brown sugar while cooking to create a nice glaze.
Side Dish: Season cooked parsnip with a little butter or olive oil, herbs and a little salt and pepper for a quick and easy side dish.
Stews: Add at the beginning of cooking to meat or vegetable stews.
Seasonings and Foods to use with Parsnip: apples, brown sugar, cream, leeks, maple syrup, other root vegetables (carrots, turnips), rosemary, sage
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