Roasted parsnips are the perfect side dish for a fall meal or holiday dinner. These parsnips are roasted in butter and stock and then tossed with parsley, chives, garlic, and a touch of horseradish.
Parsnips look like funny white carrots, which makes sense–they’re members of the carrot family. They have a sweet, mild, earthy flavour that’s all their own. You can actually eat them raw, but cooking improves their taste and texture.
Look for parsnips that are small, rather than beefy. Large parsnips can be fibrous, while smaller ones are more tender and have a better flavour. The larger the parsnip, the larger its woody core—a part that’s best removed, rather than cooked.
Avoid parsnips that are shrivelled, spotted, or floppy. Parsnips are best in the cold weather months, fall to winter.
Peel parsnips as you would carrots. Cut off the narrow end of the parsnip first. Then quarter the wide end lengthwise so you can cut out and remove the fibrous core, if needed. Sometimes the core isn’t very hard or developed, and you don’t need to remove it.
Parsnips will discolour if cut and stored over an hour or two. To minimise browning of cut parsnips, refrigerate in water with a squeeze of lemon juice.
- 1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 1/2 inch batons
- 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup stock (low sodium turkey stock, chicken stock or vegetable broth)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 teaspoons drained, bottled horseradish
- 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 tablespoons minced chives
- 1/2 small clove garlic, minced
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- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Season the parsnips:
In a large roasting pan with sides no more than 2 inches high, toss the parsnips with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
Add the broth, cover with aluminium foil.
Roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are tender and the stock has evaporated or been absorbed, 20-45 minutes (depending on how tender the parsnips are to begin with). Check often to avoid them getting mushy, especially if they are to be reheated later.
Combine the softened butter with the horseradish, parsley, chives and garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Toss the warm roasted parsnips with the horseradish-herb butter to serve.
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