This past Saturday I met Daniel, the farm manager at Goat Lady CSA, at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. Considering that last week his veggies not in the hoop houses were under about 8 inches of snow, seeing the sweet carrots he had for sale was a treat.
He had some baby bok choi called Mei Quin Choy (pronounced may chin choy) that was tempting, but I wanted to go for something a bit unfamiliar to me: parsnips!
Parsnips are root vegetables, which means the tasty part we eat grows underneath the surface of the soil like carrots and potatoes. They were first grown in Eurasia and the ones Saturday looked a bit like a mandrake (Harry Potter fans will remember those guys). They’re a potassium-filled biennial related to the carrot and tasty!
To me, root vegetables are best roasted, so I peeled and chopped this one to make oven fries. I was surprised at how sweet it was when I bit into it after cutting it. Low soil temperatures make some of the starches in the parsnip convert to sugars, and considering our chilly winter, I’d guess that has been the case with these. I decided to try sprinkling them with salt, pepper and a little Herbes de Provence (a blend of different herbs including on rosemary, thyme and oregano). After fifteen minutes in the oven, these were delicious!
Parsnip Oven Fries
Herbes de Provence
Pan for roasting (I used a jelly roll pan/cookie sheet)
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
Peel and chop the parsnip into wedges or fries, whatever you prefer
Spray with cooking oil
Sprinkle with Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper
Roast for 10-20 minutes depending on how firm you want them, shaking the pan to turn them halfway through roasting