Fruit and Vegetable Guide
Description: Parsnips, a root vegetable, look like creamy white carrots. They have a sweet, nutty flavor.
Selection: Choose firm, crisp parsnips; avoid any that bend or have soft spots. Smaller parsnips may be sweeter and creamier. If you buy large parsnips, taste the core if it’s tough or lacks flavor, you’ll need to remove it before cooking.
Storage and handling: Refrigerate in a plastic bag for a week or more. Before eating, wash in cold water.
Preparation: Remove peel with a vegetable peeler and trim both ends. Cut as desired. Boil parsnip chunks, covered, about 15 minutes. Steam chunks in a basket over boiling water, covered, 8-10 minutes if you’re eating as is, 12-15 minutes if you plan to purée. Microwave chunks in a covered dish with a few tablespoons liquid, 4-6 minutes.
Serving suggestions: Cut raw fresh parsnips into sticks like carrots and eat with dip, or shred and add to salad. Season cooked parsnips with butter, salt, pepper, and herbs. Add sugar during sautéeing/braising for a glazed result. Also excellent paired with maple syrup in a cream soup (SIS, p. 239). Cooked parsnips can be puréed with or mashed instead of potatoes. Roasting enhances sweetness (SIS, p. 251).
Nutrients: Vitamins C and K, folate; potassium; fiber.
1 lb raw = 3 cups
© 2011 Mennonite Central Committee