They may look like white carrots, but parsnips have a sweet, nutty taste that’s all their own. And it’s precisely that rich flavor that makes these nutritious root veggies (a cup of parsnips has more than five grams of fiber and loads of B vitamins, including folate) deliver big at dinner or in a dessert (seriously!). Grab a bunch and get cooking—we had top chefs share six new ways to work them into your menu.
Mix four to five cups of kosher salt with some chopped thyme, rosemary, black peppercorns, and cold water, creating a sandy texture. Spread a thin layer on a sheet pan, add parsnips, and cover fully with the rest of the salt mixture. Bake for 30 minutes at 400°F, cut open with a knife, remove parsnips, and drizzle with oil.
Turn Them into Noodles
Peel vegetables, then use the vegetable peeler to create long, thin fettucine-like strands. Briefly blanch them in boiling salted water, shock in ice water, and drain and dry. Reheat the noodles in your favorite sauce, perhaps a pesto.
Bake Them into Bread
Enhance parsnips’ sweetness by using them instead of carrots or zucchini in a quick-bread batter.
Give Them a BBQ Rub
Mix together equal parts light brown sugar, ancho chile powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground coriander. Cut roots into wedges, coat them with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and apply a light coating of the spice rub before grilling on direct heat for 2 minutes per side and then indirect heat for another 15 minutes.
Roast Them to Perfection
Chop parsnips and roast them with thyme, shallots, and a little grapeseed oil. To get them extra caramelized, toss the pieces with a tiny drop of honey, which helps to bring out the vegetable’s natural sweetness.
Whirl Them into a Purée
Sweat garlic and shallot in a pot with butter. Add chopped parsnips (peeled), cover with cream (you can add chicken or veg stock to cut some calories out), then simmer for about 25 minutes and blend in a blender till smooth and silky. It makes a great alternative to mashed potatoes and tastes great with short ribs or chicken.