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'Tis the season...for parsnips

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Just a reminder, for cooks who may not already know, that spring is the best time of year for parsnips. Overwintering in the ground makes them mellower than those harvested at other times. Too often, I've been tempted by nice-looking ones that turn out to be bitter and sharp.
The best ones I've had were one May, at Cambridge, MA's Summer Shack. Whipped parsnips are hardly what you'd expect at a seafood place, but my lobster-craving friend, visiting from Alaska, ordered them. After one taste, she said that only since she held me in such high regard was she going to let on how good they were, and share them. Granted, they had a lot of butter and probably cream, too, but the vegetable itself shone through. Last night I steamed a bunch grown in-state, then sauteed them in just a little butter...very, very good. If you're not a parsnip fan, you probably haven't had one that were picked at the right time.

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  1. They ain't too bad roasted in the oven too! Thanks for the heads up...we love them!

    1. They're a good couple of months past their best time in Britain.

      But when they're properly in season, I roast, sometimes with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to add to the sweetness.

      They also get grated, along with carrot and thinly sliced leek - then steamed. Particularly good with chicken. Any leftovers go into frittata or "bubble & squeak".

      Always best to core them, IMO.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        I'd never heard of coring them. Does that take care of the bitterness issue?

        1. re: greygarious

          No. I just find that you get more even cooking if you get rid of the hard core.

          1. re: greygarious

            I don't core mine. Here in NH, I dug the last of my parsnips 4/16 but found 2 more on the weekend. Once they start putting up some green leaves I think they'll start to get bitter. I haven't noticed woody cores but mine are fresh out of the garden. Perhaps the woody cores occur when they dry out during storage.

        2. Thanks for the post - I had some in the fall that I added to a stew without tasting. The stew is still in the freezer - I figure if I get hungry enough . . .

          1. I love glazed carrots and parsnips together- i cut them in similar sizes, cook in a bit of water once the water has evaporated i put in butter, a tiny bit of honey and continue cooking till brown, salt pepper and parsley on top.

            1. This is a great link for all kinds of vegetable recipes

              60 Parsnip recipes

              Baked Parsnips Irish Style
              Breaded Parsnips
              Buttered Fried Parsnips
              Caramelised Parsnips and Baby Onions
              Creamy Potato and Parsnip Gratin
              Derby Sage Parsnips
              Freezing Parsnips
              Glazed Parsnips
              Green Bean Parsnip Soup
              Herbed Buttered Parsnips
              Honey Glazed Carrots and Parsnips
              Honey It's Parsnips
              Kale And Parsnips
              Maple-Glazed Parsnips
              Marinated Asparagus
              Mashed Parsnips
              Mashed Potatoes Parsnips and Garlic
              Matchstick Parsnips and Carrots
              Mushroom Parsnip Soup
              Orange Glazed Parsnips
              Orange Parsnips
              Orange-glazed Parsnips
              Parsnip and Bean Pie
              Parsnip And Carrot Slaw with Apricot Dressing
              Parsnip and Celery Bisque
              Parsnip Cakes
              Parsnip Chips for the Pigeon and Bok Choi Dish
              Parsnip Chowder
              Parsnip Curry
              Parsnip Patties
              Parsnip Pie
              Parsnip Pure with Orange
              Parsnip Puree
              Parsnip Puree
              Parsnip Puree with Grand Marnier
              Parsnip Salad
              Parsnip Slaw
              Parsnip Soup
              Parsnip-Carrot Soup
              Parsnip-Pecan Cake
              Parsnip-Potato Pancakes
              Parsnips and Carrots with Orange Butter
              Parsnips in Maple Mustard Sauce
              Parsnips in Melting Mustard Sauce
              Parsnips with Almonds
              Parsnips with Almonds
              Parsnips, Potatoes, and Roasted Garlic
              Party Parsnips and Carrots
              Roast Parsnip and Horseradish Mash
              Roasted Parsnips and Onions
              Roasted Parsnips, Onions, and Garlic
              Root Vegetables and Baby Greens with Walnut Oil
              Sauteed Parsnips
              Scalloped Parsnips
              Scalloped Parsnips
              Spiced Parsnips
              Sugar crusted Parsnips
              Sugar-crusted Parsnips
              Warm Parsnip Salad

              http://www.justvegetablerecipes.com

              4 Replies
              1. re: kchurchill5

                kchurchill,
                Thanks so much for the link to that vegetable recipe site. It is fabulous(and exhaustive!!!)
                My family will be thanksful for the new vegetable preparations they'll be eating!!

                1. re: bxgirl

                  There are more than you could ever eat. I have tried many and most are really good. Some I have tweaked to my liking, but It is a great way to get lots of new ideas for veggies. I never knew you could cook a parsnip so many ways.

                  Your welcome, enjoy

                2. re: kchurchill5

                  What a GREAT website. Thanks!!!

                  1. re: kchurchill5

                    and last but not least....a pan fried parsnip sandwich

                  2. Recipe for Parsnip Surprise - an aphrodisiac (allegedly ;-0 )

                    http://www.corrieblog.tv/2007/12/cook...

                    J

                    1. I love parsnips, and my husband loves "those white carrots." Thanks for the advice, will definitely start buying more parsnips!

                      1. my favourite is pan fried parsnips (honey fried is delicious) in between lightly buttered "hovis" brown bread...really tasty!

                        and another is pan fried yellow plaintain with brown bread...i'm gonna have that for my lunch in a minute.

                        happy eating folks!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: scc48

                          my pan fried plaintain sandwiches for lunch was really tasty!

                        2. Parsnips are delicious. Never heard of coring them, but then I have never tasted a bitter one. If anything I find them very sweet. They are a "secret" addition to my mashed potatoes, especially those I'm using to top shepherd's pie ...I cook 2-3 in the same pot and mash them right into the potatoes with the butter, cream, s&P. The parsnips add a certain delicious richness that is very tricky to identify!