When we are not familiar with a vegetable like parsnips, we often just add it as an extra ingredient in other dishes. It’s as if we are not sure how the vegetable is going to “perform.”
But parsnips are versatile enough to be an “extra” and a “star” at the same time – it can be cooked with other dishes or served alone. It can also be prepared in many different ways – it can be mashed, roasted, fried, boiled in soups and stews, or eaten raw.
Many people love the taste of mashed potatoes, but some love mashed parsnips even more. It is probably because the natural sweetness of this root crop gives its taste more depth than usual.
To mash parsnips, peel off the skin and slice it into quarters. Boil it in water for about 10 minutes or until the quartered pieces become soft. Add salt and allow to boil for a few more minutes until the parsnips are soft enough to be mashed.
Drain all the excess water from the parsnips and transfer them in a bowl. Mash evenly and completely. Add butter for more flavor.
A naturally sweet root vegetable like parsnips is great for roasting. This is because roasting brings out the best taste in parsnips especially when the sugar becomes caramelized – they taste much sweeter than they are.
To roast parsnips, scrub the roots clean and slice into strips. Season it according to your preference and brush a little oil over them. Put the parsnip strips in a dish and roast in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes.
If you are always on the go but do not want to succumb to the temptations of fast food, you can fry parsnips instead. They are delicious like French fries, easy to make and nutritious, too.
To fry parsnips, scrub a parsnip clean and cut into thin strips. Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste and mix with your hand to evenly distribute the flavor. Fry the strips in butter or olive oil for about 1o minutes or until they become golden brown.
To boil parsnips in soups and stews, wash and peel your parsnips and cut them in quarters. Do not add them in the soup or stew right away because parsnips are cooked easily – they might get mashed and become indistinctive before your dish gets done.
Instead, wait until your soup or stew is almost done before adding the parsnips.
You don’t have to cook parsnips to enjoy its taste – it can also be consumed raw. Young and tender parsnips that have been cut or grated are great for salads. They not only add more flavor and make your salad look good, eating it raw will give you the most of its vitamin content and other nutrients.
Tags: Cooking Parsnips