Season of the Root: Parsnip

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Let’s face it, if you live in North America, we’re still in Root Season: potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, celery root. Perhaps the spring smelling breezes are making you long for fresh ramps and fiddle head ferns, but the reality is, it’s March, and we’re still eating roots. One of my favorite tuber pick-me-ups is the parsnip. It just never gets the love that other tubers get.

Parsnip Potatoes Let’s face it, if you live in North America, we’re still in Root Season: potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, celery root. Perhaps the spring smelling breezes are making you long for fresh ramps and fiddle head ferns, but the reality is, it’s March, and we’re still eating roots. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tubers, but I’m restless by nature, so I get a little fidgety this time of year. 

One of my favorite tuber pick-me-ups is the parsnip. It just never gets the love that other tubers get.
It resembles a large, white carrot but has a unique sweet flavor. Parsnips needs to be peeled as they have a tough, fibrous core.

Paper thin strips, fried and finished with a sprinkle of smoked pimento and hot chili powder are intensely addictive, with a smoky, sweet intensity. Use a vegetable peeler to make the thin strips, discard the tough core.

Or added to a roast chicken dish along with carrots, celery and potatoes, it adds a sweet counterpoint to the chicken.

Last night it was mashed potatoes with parsnip. To my taste, parsnips are too fibrous for 100% mashed parsnips, but as 50% of a mashed potato dish, they add a real flavor boost. In love with a potato ricer

And while we are on the subject of stuff that never gets the love, a potato ricer is where it’s at for mashed potatoes. A ricer is a canister with little holes and a handle, and you squish the cooked potatoes through the hole. I don’t know the chemistry behind this, but it yields a much fluffier, lighter mashed potato, with less milk or butter needed simply because of the texture. You know I don’t love one-use tools, but I bet you’ll find other uses for your ricer…like spaeztle.

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