I was unable to find parsnips last year; they are a member favorite so I am pleased to have found some for you today. These are from Malandra Farm in Abiquiu, a farm that we hope to work with more next year.
Here is some history and nutritional info from Wikipedia – “The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot. Its long tuberous root has cream-colored skin and flesh and can be left in the ground when mature as it becomes sweeter in flavor after winter frosts.
The parsnip is native to Eurasia. It has been used as a vegetable since antiquity and was cultivated by the Romans, although there is some confusion in the literature of the time between parsnips and carrots. It was used as a sweetener before the arrival in Europe of cane sugar. It was introduced into the United States in the nineteenth century.
The parsnip is usually cooked but can also be eaten raw. It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. It also contains antioxidants and both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.”
So, parsnips are good for you! They an interesting combination of sweet and savory; member Corine cuts hers into matchsticks and cooks slowly in butter; they get a light brown crust; just sprinkle with salt or add some maple syrup. They can also be cooked and mashed with rutabagas, carrots, potatoes and other roots, and added to stews and soups. They can be oven roasted with other roots, or cooked and pureed for a rich soup. Member Carrie cuts them thin, tosses with olive oil and makes oven chips. Here is a link to a recipe – http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/roasted_parsnips/
And here is a link to some interesting and varied recipes – http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/parsnip
I’ll bet they would be good with today’s pinot grigio/mushroom butter; this versatile butter will come in handy for any number of uses.
The beautiful citrus at this time of year reminds me of the juicy orange I always got in my Christmas stocking as a kid. Ripe and ready and a bright spot in the cold, vitamin C just when we need it!
Keep warm, enjoy the lights and we’ll see you in 2014!