By Emma Chow

Parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot and also parsley. You can even get a variety of parsley whose roots resemble tiny parsnips which are edible and sweet. Parsnips are very much in season during the winter period and they are fairly cheap at the moment. Sweet and high in fibre, store your parsnips like carrots: loose in the vegetable drawer of your fridge, which should be lined with paper towelling to absorb excess moisture. They can keep for weeks in this way. Here are 5 great ways to incorporate sweet parsnips into your menu.

  1. Parsnip Soup – make a simple pureed vegetable soup of 1 leek, 1 head of cauliflower and 4-6 parsnips. Cooked in water and then with a little milk, this soup will be naturally sweet and pale in colour.
  2. Parsnip fries  – cut out the tough heart of the 8 parsnips and then cut them into long batons, likes French fries. Toss with 2 tablespoons of neutral oil, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and ½ teaspoon of salt and roast at 220 degrees Celcius for 20-30 minutes or until crisp. Serve immediately.
  3. Carrot and Parsnip Pancakes – grate 2 parsnips and 2 carrots and combine with 2 tablespoons of your preferred flour, 1 egg and half a teaspoon of salt. Oil a large fry pan and fry flat rounds of the mixture, about 2 tablespoons per round, 3 minutes each side. Drain on paper towel and serve. Particularly tasty with a mayo based sauce.
  4. Mashed Parsnips – peel and chop 6-8 large parsnips and boil with 1 garlic clove until tender. Mash or puree the parsnips. Season with salt and pepper. Makes a nice accompaniment to meat dishes. If you’re low on parsnips or find their sweet vegetal flavour too strong, then combine with a potato or two.
  5. Parsnip Pizza – Thinly slice 4-5 parsnips and pan fry them in a little olive oil until tender. Get a couple of uncooked prepared pizza bases, you can find some great Mamabake pizza base recipes here. Spread each with a quarter cup Greek yogurt and grate 2 garlic cloves over the yogurt. Scatter over cooked parsnips and then a half cup of mozzarella cheese over each pizza. Season with salt and pepper and then cook pizzas at 200 degrees Celcius for about 15 minutes or until cheese at the centre is coloured and bubbling.


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