Roast Parsnips; the update

Our ground is clay (or something similar).

When it’s wet it’s slippery, thick mud that sticks to your shoes, making one’s shoe size grow from a ‘7’ to an ’11’ in about 5 steps.

When it’s dry it cracks. In summer our field has cracks deep enough and wide enough to swallow a small animal.

In the potager, after it’s tilled in the spring, if I faithfully hoe every week, I can keep the top soil workable and free of weeds.

But I can’t grow root vegetables.

I tried growing carrots a few times…. They were 3 inches wide and 2 inches long, with skinny little hair-like roots growing out of the sides and bottom like errant chin-hairs.

They were ugly.

My neighbor tells me that he has successfully grown parsnips, but to do it he dug a deep trench and filled it with sand. 

Why am I telling you this now?  At the end of November?

One of the women in our French conversation class gave me some parsnips.

They were a little longer than the carrots I attempted, but not nearly as long as the pretty parsnips at the markets.

I, foolishly, did not take a photo of them before cleaning and cutting….

Parsnips were not part of my childhood.  I’d never actually tasted one until a few years ago when our friend in Spain put them in the Boar Stew.

Since then I’ve had them a few more times, fixed by British friends, normally either steamed or cooked in the roasting pan with a turkey or goose.

But I’ve never prepared them myself.

In my usual fashion…. It was late, I was in a hurry, they were difficult to peel (being kind of gnarly…. I tossed them with some olive oil and popped them in the oven, 400F (200C) for 30 minutes.

I was amazed!

They were incredibly sweet and delicious… crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

They reminded me of toasted marshmallows – and kind of resembled them as well.

I am now hooked on parsnips.

Roasted Parsnips

Mon mari is back to work.

The closets are finished – on the inside, anyway.  And of course, stuff put in them to get out of the way.

Closets_finished
And the first board of the ceiling frame has been nailed in place.

He’s back…..

Ceiling_board
Life is back to normal.

5 thoughts on “Roast Parsnips; the update”

  1. Parsnips WERE a part of my childhood – the nightmare part. Mum often steamed them and served them with butter and a bit of nutmeg to go with festive dinners. I can still remember choking back the tears as I tried desperately to swallow (without gagging) my allotted 8th of a small stick of parsnip. It wasn’t until relatively recently that I discovered just how wonderful parsnips are.
    My favourite way to prepare them is as you did (but julienned), tossed with a bit of olive oil and oven-roasted. Maintenant, j’adore les panais!
    But the biggest revelation we’ve had about parsnips is that shredded (ie: grated) raw parsnip is fantastic as a garnish for mussels and shrimp cream soup. (photo here: )

  2. Terrific that the house continues to progress.
    Parsnips, don’t know how long ago it was but recently, I discovered parsnips and oh my yes the sweetness was a joy. And I even roasted some recently and yes! we love them.
    Better late to the party but gosh all those parsnips we missed out on.

  3. Elizabeth, great ideas…. I’ve a convert. But I think I’ll pass on steamed LOL.
    manningroad, thanks, I will!
    Zoomie, yeah, he’s handy – esp. now that they’re both working right again!
    Tanna, glad I’m not the only one late to the party ;-))

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