Last time I went to see my dad, he gave me a a couple vegetables from his garden, as he always does before I’m heading back home and these included a parsnip.
Not a regular parsnip… a huge one!! I had never seen one this size and he never had one this big either. It was over 30cm long (12 inches) and weighted approximatively 1.4 kg (3 pounds). Since my kitchen scale is tiny, I had to weight it, pieces by pieces!
So there I was back home, with a single enormous parsnip. I decided to cook it in different ways to try out new things. Those are fairly regular recipes, nothing mind blowing here because you know #NotaFoodBlogger. Yet, I failed half of them! Well, in fact even the failed attempt tasted pretty good, but they just weren’t exactly what they are supposed to be, texture wise.
Parsnip apparently gain sweetness after the first frosts and this one was indeed really nice, full of this distinctive parsnip flavor, although slightly more fibrous than smaller ones.
Baked Parsnip Fries
I don’t have a fryer so baked fries are the next best thing. But not regular French fries with potatoes, that’s boring! Instead I love to do fries with other roots vegetables like beetroots and therefore thought, it would be a good idea to try with parsnip. And it mostly was!
Oil, salt, peper, a dash of paprika and a few crushed garlic cloves and right into the oven!
These were served with a vegan grilled cheese sandwich. Not too bad for a home-office lunch! The downside these sorts of lunches is that my partner doesn’t want to go back to the office anymore!
This parsnip being quite fibrous, the fries tasted really good but were slightly too crunchy. So not the best recipe!
On to the next one, then!
Parsnip and carrot potluck of sort!
Note to self: Got to work on my recipe titles!
So for the next piece of this parsnip, I just tossed it with carrots in my cast iron pan. With some onions and garlic, copious seasoning, a bit of tofu and a few cranberries for color!
My cast iron pan needs re-seasonning (again!) and when things started to stick to the bottom, I added some water. Not much but that was still too much for the parsnip, which became a bit mushy. Maybe the pieces I cut were too small too? I don’t know…
Oh well! At least the carrots stayed a little crunchy so that was a good combination of texture. And despite being of the same family, carrots and parsnips complement each others really well.
Oh wait, purée is the French way of saying mashed! So, does this way of cooking parsnip sounds posh now or what?!
Anyway, I had doubts I would manage a nice purée, with my limited tools. When doing mashed potatoes, I do it with a fork and a lot of elbow grease, because that is what crazy French people do!
As anticipated, the fork did not do the trick! I gave up and tossed my half mashed parsnip bits, into the blender and… smashing hit! That so creamy (added a dash of vegan butter and soy cream!) so parsnipsy!
Yes, I was surprised. My blender is great to do soups, not so great for smashed potatoes for example. It’s just not the right tool but here it did wonder.
Do note that a lot of people do add carrots to their mashed parsnip. Not sure why but also why not!
This parsnip purée will be served as a bed for some sauteed mushrooms. Can’t wait actually!
Meanwhile, this leads us to the last bit of parsnip and recipe.
Parsnip hachis parmentier!
oh another French recipe!!
To be honest, by this time I thought this parsnip would never end. Just way too big! So on to a hachis parmentier, a sort of gratin. I did not mind that it was going to be big because I intended to freeze at least part of it. We just had too much parsnip in a few days, by the time I cooked this!!
The hachis parmentier based is usually mashed potatoes, but in this case it was mashed parsnip. I topped the purée with a good measure of caramelized onions, carrots and some vegan stuff, another layer of purée and some vegan cheese sprinkled, with some hazelnuts powder.
Well, I didn’t get to freeze this actually! Not one bit. It was scrumptious!
Luckily, my dad’s parsnips are not all this size because that was a bit much.
And this one was really special… it had an all seeing eye in the middle!
It was delicious, I’m thankful my dad gave this to me but I’m also glad it is gone!! 😉
And now, on to the enormous Jerusalem artichokes he also gave me!