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Something New: Parsnips!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

This weekend's "Freggie Dare" challenge, courtesy of the BLC-19, inspired me to try something I've never had before: parsnips.

Now, parsnips aren't exactly an exotic vegetable -- they're easily found in most grocery stores, and look familiar enough (like a white carrot!). The name is pronounceable, and the cost reasonable. So, why did it take me so darn long to try them? I've been through 3 rounds of the BLC already, including one with the Forest Green Pixies (who are known for their love of all things freggie, and regular participants in "rainbow" challenges -- and we're not talking Skittles here!), so I thought I had tried just about every freggie out there.

But, for whatever reason, parsnips never made it into my grocery cart until now.

This is one of the things I love about the BLC: it pushes me out of my comfort zone, encouraging me to try things I might not have otherwise. Like parsnips.

I picked up a bag of the white carrot-y things with nary a thought as to what I would do with them (except eat them, of course!). Once I got home, I sat down at my laptop and Googled "parsnip recipes", looking for one that was simple, used ingredients I had on hand, and received lots of stars.

This is one fit the bill on all counts:

1 1/2 lbs parsnips, peeled and julienned
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pinches cayenne (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or more, to taste)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced


1. Preheat oven to 450-degrees.
2. Layer parsnips on baking sheet in single layer.
3. Sprinkle with next three ingredients, tossing well to ensure everything is coated well.
4. Roast 15 minutes on bottom rack, stirring occasionally.
5. Sprinkle with the garlic and roast until well browned, about 15 minutes longer.
6. Let cool slightly, adjust salt if necessary and serve.

I happened to have a sweet potato on hand, and the challenge calls for eating a serving of sweet potatoes... so, I julienned that baby, too, and tossed in in the pan with the parsnips (keeping it separate, though, as I didn't know that I'd like garlic on my sweet potatoes).

The results: somewhat soggy, somewhat burnt fries... but, tasty enough that I ate 'em all up! Somehow, I got the oven temperature wrong initially, starting at 350 instead of 450 for the first 7-8 minutes; that could have been part of the problem. And, maybe I used too much oil -- I have a tendency to "eyeball" instead of measuring, which can be dangerous but fun ("real" chefs don't measure, right?!).

Would I make them again? Absolutely!

Now, I should note that there are LOTS of fabulous-looking parsnip recipes on SP... I don't know why I didn't think to look there first when I went recipe-searching! Since I like to put everything into my food tracker, I typically go directly to the SP Recipe Finder when I want to try something new, and am rarely disappointed.

Thank you, SKINNYSOON13 and all you BLC Admins, for encouraging us all to "taste the rainbow" (sorry, Skittles)! emoticon

But, I STILL don't like Brussel sprouts or beets.... emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v FT4EVR
    I haven't had them since my childhood. I don't know if I like them or not..... guess I'll have to give them a try too!
    1443 days ago
    I love brussel sprouts and beets. I am going to try to pickle some beets this year. They are oh so yummy on salads.
    1466 days ago
    I'm with Jeckie (despise, loathe, and abominate beets; LOVE Brussels sprouts), but I've never tried parsnips unless they were hidden in something else, like a soup or stew. Time for me to try something new. Thanks for sharing your experience and recipe!
    1469 days ago
    I'm glad you found something in the grocery store you haven't eaten before. I've never found anything in the stores here that I haven't eaten.
    1469 days ago
  • v JECKIE
    I don't like beets, either (though I LOVE brussel sprouts!)

    Parsnips are one of my favorite veggies. I eat them pureed (if you google it you'll find that many famous chefs have a parsnip puree recipe out there, so easy to find...) Absolutely delicious!

    I have a hard time finding "new to me" freggies these days, too. ;)
    1470 days ago
    This is my FAVORITE challenge yet Ferne. So glad you like them! No to beets and brussels sprouts huh? Durn....I haven't found a veggie yet that I didn't enjoy roasted!
    1470 days ago
  • v WONDERBUG381
    Good for you for trying something new.
    I love parsnips and sometimes just steam them with some other veggies.
    1470 days ago
    Parsnips are good in a stew as well. They are easy to grow, but need to be hit with a hard freeze before harvesting. Otherwise they are very bitter. The freeze turns that bitterness into sweetness. And, I love brussel sprouts and beets. emoticon Tasty food they are. What is a freggie by the way?
    1470 days ago
    Aren't you adventurous!! Never tried them myself! emoticon
    1470 days ago
    They look durn tasty to me! I'm proud of you for stepping outside your comfort zone and trying a newbie to you! emoticon
    1470 days ago
  • v LIZ---
    I am going to try them, thanks for sharing'!
    1470 days ago
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