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especially when mixed into a batch of mashed potatoes...they give it a nice little bite.

I'm in the habit of tossing parsnips in when I do mashed potatoes as well. After boiling them, I mash the potatoes by hand but run the parsnips through a food mill before stirring them into the potatoes. The food mill (or perhaps a ricer) helps to leave the stringy part of the flesh behind.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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In December, I had a sample of parsnip and pear soup from Central Market in Austin. It was one of the best things that I've ever put in my gob. Unfortunately, all I had was a measly sample -- they kept selling out.

I am curious to hear more of this soup...was it a pureed soup? Chicken based? I need answers here!!!

Yes, pureed and creamy. It was very smooth, save for small bits of pear. I think it probably had cream in it. Don't know about the chicken stock -- I'm veg. and can usually taste it, but I didn't notice it this time.

At the time, I googled and found a couple recipes. My vacation ran short, though, and I haven't gotten around to making it.



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I was surprised by how many "icks" there are on this thread!! I mean parsnips are very mild and and a little sweet. If I had to describe them I would say they taste a little carroty but not as pungent or juicy. The texture is certainly a little more woody than a carrot. I thought anyone who eats carrots will probably like parsnips. Taste however is very subjective indeed and no rules ever apply.

As for myself, I love them roasted with other root vegetables tossed with a little honey, marjoram and evoo along side roasted chicken, pork or beef. very yummy.

Another favorite preparation that has been mentioned here is the tagliatelle/pancetta.

One time I steamed them and pureed them with pears, cream and thyme and served with roasted striped bass, and basil oil. very good as well.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I was surprised by how many "icks" there are on this thread!! I mean parsnips are very mild and and a little sweet. If I had to describe them I would say they taste a little carroty but not as pungent or juicy. The texture is certainly a little more woody than a carrot. I thought anyone who eats carrots will probably like parsnips. Taste however is very subjective indeed and no rules ever apply.

Yes, I couldn't agree more - about the subjectivity of taste. I remember listening to the radio one day and someone was explaining that there's even a genetic basis for some of the taste discrepancies. Some folks find cruciferous veggies to be bitter - like broccoli, and brussel sprouts, others don't. I can't remember exactly, but I think it all depends on a digestive enzyme located in our saliva that some of us have, or don't have. <<--- children should use that argument to convince their parents to not to force them to eat their veggies.

Anyway, count me in as an "ick". They DO taste like carrots, but I don't care for the taste of carrots. The thing I dislike most about parsnips and carrots is the piney turpentiney taste that is predominant for me in parsnips. Then again, I don't care for rosemary, gin and juniper, which all taste piney as well.

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

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The differences in flavour perception are quite amazing, from one person to the next. To me, asparagus and okra (for example) have a lovely delicate flavour, similar to the best and freshest of new green beans. Yet, others I know find them intolerably bitter.

To me, parsnips do taste carrotty...but it's a really skanky carrot, one that's been rotted and then made into jerky and then smoked over a garbage fire and then rehydrated in stale beer.

You could say I don't care for them.

I have had parsnips that bordered on being enjoyable, but they've required a great deal of artifice along the way; usually caramelization in one or another fashion. Submerging them in a *lot* of something else generally does the trick too; I've had them as the "mystery ingredient" in mashed potatoes and found the result rather interesting.

Overall, though, they're far and away my least favourite root vegetable (and I dearly love my root vegetables).

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three


"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning


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I have, upon occassion, eaten a parsnip dish that was good.

HOWEVER!. To me, they always have a taste and smell that is way too much like male B.O.!

You know, that sickly acrid B.O. that comes along with groups of deadheads when they've been camping and following the show for about six months? The one they so unsuccessfully try to cover up with patchouli oil? Yeah, that smell.

Well, that's parsnips all over!

Icky Icky Icky P-tang!

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Parsnips are one of my favorite vegetables. Roast them with salt and pepper, olive oil, fresh thyme and rosemary, and maybe add carrots and potatoes to the mix. Unbelievably, heavenly divine.

Also, cut thin slices on either a mandoline or with a knife, and deep fry as for potato chips. You'll never eat store bought potato chips again, and realize that Terra Chips are a total rip-off (again, add carrots and potatoes to the mix, and maybe beets or yams, since doing a deep fry is a major hassle. Better to have a month's supply on hand.)

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Their sweet flavour is complemented by the addition of "curry" flavours.

eg. In a pureed curried parsnip soup:

1) In butter, sweat garlic, onions, cubed parsnips, cubed potatoes, along with a tablespoon of a mildish curry paste (or your own favourite mix of spices, eg cumin, turmeric, coriander, dried ginger, in which case roast these in the pan first),

2) Add stock. Cook 'til veg are tender. Puree.

3) Top each bowl w. spoonful of creme fraiche if desired.

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I just re-read this thread and am shocked, simply SHOCKED ( :wink: ) that no one has made the Parsnip Pie which is available in the recipe archive. It IS a bit of work, frying all the parsnip slices before assembling them in the pie (a crustless pie) but it is awesomely delicious. Truth be told, it'll be better when tomatoes are in season, but I've made it at all times of year and it has always received rave reviews. Very more-ish.

Be sure to drizzle plenty of cream on it!


"I'm bringing pastry back"


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  • 7 years later...

no posts since 2004? must correct that immediately.

I picked up some parsnips at USGM recently. I was going to simply sauté them in butter, with shallots and parsley, but some of these ideas sound delicious as well. Deborah Madison has a recipe that uses them in a breakfast dish, with nuts and maple syrup; I don't know if these are that sweet however.

Any other ideas?

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For me, ick. Definitely ick. And I know it's because my Gran used to boil them into quasi-unidentifiable moosh in the inimitable way Scottish Grans have of putting otherwise good veg through the blander....

Perhaps it's time to give them another chance (parsnips are very common here, sold as "white carrots"), but I'm having a hard time getting over the foul pastes of yore. :blink:

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I've always been a big fan of parsnips. Especially important in my slow-roasted winter vegetable medley, but I also cook them on their own, cut into equal-sized pieces, large batons, or sliced on the diagonal or whatever shape you fancy, then oven-braised in (preferably) duck fat until done - the same amount of time as carrots (about an hour at 300° F.

In fact, I prefer them combined with carrots in this dish.

Cut into "strings" on a Benriner turning cutter, they can be deep fried and tossed with dried cranberries.

I tried this recipe from Nigella last fall but added a little more than a heaping teaspoon of grated fresh ginger. It was very good.

Edited to correct the oven temp.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett


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Last I got I added some to a pot of minestrone. Sadly I added them too soon as they were very tender and sweet. I added them at the same time as the potato and they melted away. :sad:

Another way I enjoy them is in a potato, parsnip, and leek soup.

Roasted along with some carrots is another family favorite.

I too grew up with the cooked to death vegetables of yore but once I found a vegetable didn't have to be cooked to death I learned to like almost all vegetables.

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I like them in soups. Recently I used them for a cream of parsnip soup and a root vegetable soup to which they added a nice earthy flavor.

I made a parsnip-potato puree that was very good. I also like roasted parsnips with little bit of honey and thyme.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I never had parsnips growing up, so I guess I missed out on the whole "eat these or go to bed hungry" experience: maybe that has colored my perception of them. But I really like parsnips. A lot. Sauteed in butter, or roasted, or cooked sous vide with salt and butter in the pouch. I like them well enough that I can't understand a distaste for them. Can any haters out there try to explain to me what it is that you don't like about them?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations

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I had the same experience--and the same opinion--as you. Until I cooked for myself, parsnips just didn't exist in my diet. I introduced them once I already had some idea of how not to ruin vegetables. That could be it. Culinary flashbacks to childhood can be warm, fuzzy, positive experiences. To an extent steak, peas, mashed potato, pumpkin and cooked carrots were 'tarnished' for me. With varying degrees of success (steak and potatoes but not peas) I have corrected this as an adult.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org


I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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