Sweet in taste and packed with nutrition, parsnips are a delicious addition to your grocery rotation. The parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot; however has a slightly sweeter and heartier taste. It can be eaten raw, but tastes far better cooked (this allows its sugars to concentrate!). It is packed with potassium, antioxidants and both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Choose small, firm parsnips and store in the produce drawer in your refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. Parsnips can be used in endless ways, but here are 10 of my favorites:
1. Simply roast– at 425 degrees with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. I like to add rosemary for extra aroma and flavor!
2. Parsnip and parmesan bruschetta- After roasting parsnips, puree in food processor with garlic and truffle oil. Spread onto toasted baguette with shaving of parmesan (this is a serious crowd-pleaser!).
3. Roasted parsnip salad- For a rustic salad, combine roasted parsnips with nutty arugula lettuce and chestnuts (for a nice crunch!)with a light olive oil and honey dressing.
4. Curried parsnip mashed potatoes- Sauté1 lb.parsnips in a large saucepan with olive oil, 0.5tbsp. curry powder and 1.5tbsp. honey for 2 minutes. Add 6 oz.almond milk, bring to the boil, cover with lid and let simmer until parsnips are tender. Mash with potato masher and season to taste.
5. Parsnip and cauliflower soup- Sauté 3 parsnips, 2 onions, and 1 small cauliflower in a saucepan for ~10 minutes. Add juice and zest of 1 lemon, spices (1 tbsp. fennel, 1 tsp coriander, ½ tsp turmeric, 3 cloves garlic, small piece ginger, 1-2 chopped chilies) and 4 cups vegetable stock. Let simmer for 30 minutes and then puree with a blender until smooth.
6. Shaved raw parsnip salad-Shave parsnips with a vegetable peeler into long, thick strips. Add sliced apples and a light dressing such as oil, vinegar and honey with a sprinkle of fresh mint.
7. Roasted parsnips and Brussels sprouts-Roast at 425 degrees with 1 tbsp. maple syrup until tender. Serve with chopped pecans!
8. Parsnip quinoa “fried rice”-Add roasted parsnips and other veggies of your choice to a wok with quinoa and low sodium soy sauce, garlic and ginger.
9. Parsnip “chips”- Slice parsnips into ¼ inch rounds and toss with olive oil and parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees—they should be light, crisp and oh-so delicious!
10. Parsnip muffins- Add grated parsnips or parsnip puree to a muffin recipe of your choice. It makes the final product incredibly moist and adds a boost of fiber to your everyday muffin.
-By: Danielle Rosenfeld, MS, RD, LDN