Newest Review: ... Grow Organic Parsnips +++ Directly in the ground from March to May. For a harvest in the Autumn. Parsnips are slow to germinate so sow i... more
Parsnip- Vegetable of Pointy Doom
Member Name: ryanando
Date: 05/05/08, updated on 06/05/08 (106 review reads)
Advantages: Taste great, healthy
Disadvantages: Pointy and easily mistaken for death
I was first introduced to parsnips about 4 years ago. It wasn't a pleasant introduction.
My brother was a chef. My mother is not. My mother, wanting to try something different, got some parsnips, which she had heard from numerous sources were the food of cool people. She asked my brother how to best cook them. My brother, being a chef, used the word "caramelise". This is where things went wrong.
My mother, not being a chef, didn't and still doesn't really see the difference between "caramelise" and "burn the crap out of". Needless to say, I didn't try parsnips for a long while after that.
My second meeting with parsnips went a tad better. I decided to forgive it for its burnt offerings those many years ago. That and I was having my Christmas dinner cooked for me so I was quite happy to sit back and relax for a change and nibble on whatever was thrown at me. This time, the parsnips were roasted along with some sweet potato and non sweet potato and chucked lovingly at my mouth hole.
I, at first, thought it must have just been the copious amounts of wine and spirits I'd worked my way through for the last 48 hours, but it seemed I actually enjoyed a parsnip. And sweet potato for that matter. I went to bed happy that night. Mostly because I'd just ripped open a Wii, but the parsnips surely put a happy twinkle in my eye somewhere...
After this more enjoyable outing with parsnips, I got myself all excited. I was going to start eating vegetables! ME!! VEGETABLES!!! Ones that aren't made out of chocolate too!! I skipped merrily off to my local, very humble, giant Tesco store and bought myself a large bag of these babies.
The thing I now enjoy most about parsnips is peeling them. It feels very like you are sharpening a deadly weapon (at least, the way I peel it, it does) and I have many a time been tempted to run rampage with nothing but a thong and a sharpened parsnip. I held myself back. They are really easy to peel mainly because there's a total change in colour when its peeled. Unlike its family member, the carrot. That evil vegetable.
As for cooking them, like most veggies, they can be souped, roasted, flung at small, unsuspecting children and the results are great. If you are a total freak, you can also eat them raw! I prefer them roasted with some sweet potato and its evil carrot brother. Fling them in the oven all oiled up for about 30-40 minutes at around about 200 degrees (about gas mark 6) turning occasionally.
The flavour is very unique and, surprisingly, it tastes...like a parsnip. It's kind of sweet, kind of bitter. I found it goes well with a little rosemary or ginger. Parsnip and Cinnamon, as I recently found out, tastes a little like a sweaty back end. Smells great though.
As for price, that really depends on how big you like your parsnips to be. Ahem. One large one will usually be enough for one to two side servings. Though I suppose that depends on how hungry you generally are. You can usually pick up a bag of 5/6 of them for £2 at the most.
Storage wise I slap them in my fridge and they last around a week. They don't last as fantastically long as some other vegetables, so you need to get them when you want to use them.
Nutritionally speaking parsnips are full of potassium, Fiber, Vitamin C, Folate (essentially vitamin B) and Manganese (which I'm told keeps your brain in good working order)
The only down side to parsnips is that if you are ever stuck in the wild, manage to find something that looks, smells and tastes like a parsnip, it might be Poison hemlock...which is...you know...poison.
A fabby vegetable to add to your collection of foods you can feel proud to eat. Unless you get the hemlock. Then you have no need for pride.
(also on ciao)
Summary: A brill little addition to foods you are cooler for eating