The days are short, the nights are cold, and it constantly rains. Brr. This would be the right time to post a recipe for a hearty stew or spicy curry but I have something else in mind. On several recent occasions, I realized that some of you (ok, a lot of you), are not familiar with parsnip*! The pale roots, resembling albino carrots are often overlooked in the produce section, until they quietly spoil away from neglect. I have seen this mostly happen in U.S.-Texas stores but even here in Germany, where parsnips have significantly larger presence than in Americas, they are often passed in favor of traditional potatoes. И зря. (excuse my russian). I won’t try to convince you that parsnips are superior to potatoes by nutritional value but I do challenge you to expand your world of vegetables by discovering parsnip’s mildly sweet and earthy taste.
Since I am in Scotland these days, where battered fish and hand-cut chips are a must in every eating establishment, it seemed the most appropriate to suggest making your own chips simply by roasting parsnip. They look a bit too pale on the photo but that’s just because I was too hungry to wait for them to acquire proper golden tan. If you keep in the oven long enough, they’ll cheer up and might surprise you with crispy, sweet texture.
*Interesting to note that parsnip is not the same vegetable as parsley root although they look pretty much identical. I have yet to check out parsley root but I’ll let you know once I do.
– handful of parsnips (start with 4-5 if you’re cautious of the outcome)
– 1 tbs melted ghee or olive oil
– 1 tbs maple syrup
– sprigs of thyme, rosemary, or sage
– salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 390F / 200C and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel and slice parsnips lengthwise until they resemble the photo above. Coat in ghee and maple syrup (increase quantity if necessary) until evenly distributed. Sprinkle salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and whatever else you feel like (red chili flakes? oregano?) and send into oven for 20 minutes or until desired crispiness and color is achieved. Turn chips at least once half-way through roasting process. When you can no longer wait, start eating them right off the baking tray while searching for something to dip them in. Cheers.