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.

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

He’s back…..

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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