Parsnip as referenced by The Adelaide Magazine

I was at the Adelaide Show Ground Farmers Market on Sunday and purchased some extra creamy parsnips from Franseco Vagaris. I roasted Parsnip steaks as they were affectionately named with olive oil,  seasoning  and a sprinkle of cinnamon. So good I thought I would publish my other parsnip ideas. Parsnips:  that once super cheap vegetable that now appears in stores at near $10 a kg!


Old school winter root vegetable, high in fibre, folic acid and potassium. Once a staple of the classic Aussie roast and the ubiquitous soup mix pack, is a strikingly versatile vegetable offering a touch of sweetness, smooth texture and a mild nuttiness to any creation.

Buy them when they look  plump creamy white, not dry and spindly. Tops should appear vibrant to signify freshness, bunches are usually found in local farmers markets.

Warm roast parsnip & apple salad w endive heart & hazelnut oil:
Peel parsnips, cut in half, and toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Quarter apples and do the same. Roast till edges are caramelised and cooked in the centre. In a large salad bowl, add picked, washed curly endive hearts, roast Parsnips and apples, add a splash of tarragon vinegar and a splash of walnut oil. Taste check seasoning. Fantastic aside a lamb roast or pork.  Makes a fab entrée finished with a dollop of fresh goats curd.

Parsnip & pear soup w thyme: 
Take a large heavy bottom pot, add a splash of oil or a knob of organic butter. Sweat down some sliced leek, a couple of large pears, 2 handfuls of washed and peeled roughly chopped parsnips, some fresh thyme and seasoning. Do not let it colour.
When most of the initial liquid has evaporated add light chicken or vegetable stock to just cover the vegetables. Bring to simmer, cook till all tender, puree in a blender.
Check seasoning. Heat to serve; marvellous with creme fraiche or a dash of Paris Creek cream. A drop of white truffle oil transports this humble soup.

Parsnip, witlof & walnut gratin:
Go a little French; sear halved and seasoned witlof in a hot pan, blanch or roast washed, peeled and sliced Parsnip, check seasoning and arrange vegetables in an oven to table baking dish, scatter some fresh thyme, a few walnuts and a splash of light chicken stock or cream. Lay your favourite savoury European style melting cheese, like Gruyere on top and bake till tinging gold.

Parsnip mash with nutmeg: 
Easiest way to get some parsnips in your winter menu is to make mash. Wash and peel your parsnips, cut them small and cook in as little salted water as possible; cook till soft and drain off water. Add hot milk or cream and mash with a potato masher. Check seasoning; only use fine white pepper in mash potatoes. To finish fold in a big knob of organic butter and grate some fresh nutmeg on top. 


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