Parsnip, panais

by Alexandra

Last week at the market, I stumbled upon some organic parsnips, on sale. In the mood for something new, I purchased one, brought it home, put it in the crisper and promptly forgot about it. Amid rummaging for some thing to prepare for dinner a few nights ago, I found the little lonely parsnip and decided to finally use it for something.

The problem was, though, I didn’t have the slightest clue what a parsnip was in the first place, much less how to prepare it. This was all on the account of a) I hadnever seen parsnip before and b) nor had anyone else in my house. So, I embarked upon a little investigation.

A Parsnip Is:

According to my father: “A ‘peasant’ version of a carrot.”

According to the dictionary: “A plant, Pastinaca sativa, cultivated varieties of which have a large, whitish, edible root.”

According to google: “A long tapering cream-colored root with a sweet flavor.”

Alas, about 40 minutes, a drizzle of olive oil and an empty bowl later, I came to my own conclusion:

According to Alexandra: “A white root vegetable that looks and smells like a carrot, but indeed tastes more like a sweet potato, most definitely should not be eaten raw and should be peeled before being roasted.”

Making the roasted parsnip didn’t really take 40 minutes, but when I’m faced with such a conundrum as “what the heck am I supposed to do with this thing?” I need some time to ponder.

I knew I needed a knife. That part was easy.

Since it looked like a carrot, I decided to treat it as such. I trimmed the ends, halved it and sliced it. That part was also easy. The difficult part was thinking.

 I had some rosemary left over from the cake I made, so I decided to use that. A drizzle of olive oil and a bit of honey mixed in, I decided the whatever-it-was was sufficiently seasoned.

I scooped it into a ramekin, popped it into the oven, and simply walked away. It was a very good decision.

25(ish) minutes later, I had the best whitesweet potato-carrot-non-carrotthing I had ever eaten. Obviously it was the first one I had ever eaten, but hey, the first time can be the best, too, right? Next time, I’ll just make sure to peel it first. I tend to forget such things.

In any case, I was thoroughly pleased with my creation.

Parsnips with Rosemary

1 medium parsnip, washed, trimmed, peeled and sliced
1 small sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon clover honey
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, scoop into a ramekin and bake, covered, in a 400-degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until parsnips are tender and golden.