PARSNIPS-Fresh from the Garden in the Dead of Winter

After the Covering of Leaves is Removed, Look for the Green Leafy Tops, then Gently Ease Them from the Soil to Avoid Damage

After the Covering of Leaves is Removed, Look for the Green Leafy Tops, then Gently Ease Them from the Soil to Avoid Damage

If you want to eat fresh garden vegetables all winter, you should try planting parsnips.  Their sweet, ivory colored, carrot-like roots provide vitamin C and some iron to our meals.  The winter has been snow free here in shoreline Connecticut but even a layer of snow is no deterrent to enjoying them.  Snow serves to insulate the soil keeping it at around 32 degrees, and if the row is well insulated with a thick cover of leaves, they are easy to dig up in all but the most frigid weather.  The flavor only improves as they become sweeter after the frost hits them.  As the winter wears on, the cores may become woody, but you can remove the cores if that happens.

All Cleaned Up and Ready to Use

All Cleaned Up and Ready to Use

Preparation is simple.  I peel them, slice them up like carrots and add them to chicken and turkey soups, and there are recipes galore for Parsnip Soup.  They make a nice addition to a combination of oven roasted whole winter vegetables.  Our favorite is to slice the peeled parsnips into quarter-inch slabs and saute them in butter until they are tender, browned and caramelized.

Here is another easy preparation a Swiss friend showed me:

Roasted Parsnip Sticks

Peel parsnips and slice them into match sticks about 1/2″ wide and 4″ long, allowing about 1 1/2 cups per serving.  Toss with olive oil and place in a shallow open oven proof pan.  Cook in a 400º oven for about 20 minutes, tossing frequently until the pieces are golden brown and slightly crusty.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

This Slab Preparation Couldn't be Easier

This Slab Preparation Couldn’t be Easier

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Russel Tunnell said,

    A small vegetable garden in your own backyard can bring you many benefits. Not only will you realize the creative benefits of gardening, you will grow fresh produce for your family and the local food pantry. Gardening can be a family affair with your children acquiring gardening skills that can be passed on to their own children.”

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