Good Taste

TT Plated: Parsnips

A vegetable to root for

Many vegetables depend on sunshine for sweetness--but not the humble parsnip, which actually becomes sweeter after the first hard frost. And, in places where the ground doesn't freeze, the vegetable can be wintered over and harvested in the spring.

We know well how good the root vegetable tastes when it's roasted, mashed and puréed into soup. But chefs around the country aren't stopping there. In Chicago, we discovered parsnip ice cream, and in Atlanta, fried parsnip strips stand in for potato chips.

For a pull-out-all-the-stops treatment, do as they do in Boston, at Barbara Lynch's No. 9 Park, and make parsnip-filled agnolotti topped with julienned apple and speck ham (click here for the recipe).

Or embrace parsnips' sweet side. After all, they have more natural sugar than carrots (which they're often confused with). To that end, we developed a recipe for parsnip crème brûlée in our Test Kitchen (click here for the recipe).

We may miss the warm days of summer, but the versatile parsnip is a welcome consolation.

  • TT Plated: Parsnips

    At Portland, Oregon's Irving Street Kitchen, chef Sarah Schafer serves a pork chop with parsnip-artichoke hash. The artichokes are braised in white wine, olive oil and vegetable stock, then combined with roasted parsnips and delicata squash and smoked cippolini onions.

  • TT Plated: Parsnips

    For a twist on chips and dip, chef Steven Satterfield of Miller Union in Atlanta fries strips of parsnips until they're golden, then pairs them with a creamy Vidalia-onion dip.

  • TT Plated: Parsnips

    At Spruce in San Francisco, pan-seared Maine scallops are served with parsnip grits. The parsnips are first roasted, then combined with white cornmeal, plus a now not-so-secret ingredient: a small amount of white chocolate.

  • TT Plated: Parsnips

    For these delicate agnolotti, No. 9 Park chef de cuisine Patrick Campbell fills tender half-moons of fresh pasta dough with parsnip purée, then tops them with julienned apple, speck ham and Pecorino Romano.

  • TT Plated: Parsnips

    Erin Mooney, pastry chef at Custom House in Chicago, uses parsnip ice cream as the base for a sundae that she sauces with butterscotch topping and garnishes with crumbled gingerbread and ginger whipped cream.

  • TT Plated: Parsnips

    Parsnips provide a subtle earthy sweetness as the base for Tasting Table's parsnip crème brûlée. Consider it the sophisticated sibling to a sweet-potato pie.

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No. 9 Park 9 Park Street Boston MA 02108 617-742-9991 Custom House 500 South Dearborn Street Chicago IL 60605 312-523-0200 Irving Street Kitchen 703 Northwest 13th Avenue Portland OR 97209 503-343-9440 Spruce 3640 Sacramento Street San Francisco CA 94118 415-931-5100 Miller Union 999 Brady Avenue Northwest Atlanta GA 30318 678-733-8550

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