A few months ago, when I was studying abroad in London, I was first introduced to parsnips.
“My best friend and I are going to roast parsnips together over Skype!” This odd exclamation from my flatmate prompted my eyebrows to raise in a mixture of bemusement and intrigue. Question one: what on earth is a parsnip? Question two: why are you roasting them together…over Skype?
The parsnip, I soon found out, is like the progeny of a potato and carrot. It’s starchy and satisfying when roasted and can be the ultimate comfort food. Apparently, parsnips are also an edible bond to your best friend. Once I had a taste of my friend’s roasted parsnips, I understood why she would go to such great lengths to roast them with a friend. America may have shoestring fries and sweet potato fries, but England has a thing for parsnips and I love it.
You can find parsnips in most grocery stores in the U.S. They’re just as good and dippable as fries, but a bit lighter and more nuanced than a regular old spud. Luckily, they’re just as easy to prepare.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
4 large parsnips
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Start by peeling each parsnip, as you would with a carrot.
2. Slice each parsnip lengthwise, cut each slice in half, and then slice each piece lengthwise again until parsnips are about the size of French fries.
3. Toss parsnips in a large bowl with oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated.
4. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping parsnips after 10 minutes, until evenly browned and soft when pierced with a fork.
5. Serve with ketchup or condiment of your choice, or just enjoy plain.