Plan for Parsnips in Your Next Garden

Parsnips are now in season and every kitchen can find a use for this very versatile vegetable.

If you planted a fall garden with vegetables grown for their roots and shoots, you’re probably now harvesting the fruits of your labor.

As for the rest of us (who dragged our feet on planting until it was too late) we’ll have to satisfy our need for winter veggies by stopping by the produce department at our local grocery store.

But after paying nearly $2 a pound for organic parsnips this week, you can bet I’ll be making room in my garden–and time in my schedule–for some fall planting this season.

Actually, it’s worth it. Cold-weather vegetables are high in fiber, low in calories and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Some favorites, like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, feature cancer-fighting phytonutrients, too.

An added benefit of planting for cold weather is that the frosty temperatures actually bring out the flavor and sweetness of some vegetables, like parsnips. This is because cold weather turns starches into sugar.

I think parsnips taste like a carrot that’s shed its orangeness and gone wild. Parsnips can be peeled and roasted, cut and made into fries, mashed like potatoes, creamed into soups and even eaten raw.

The three parsnips in the photo met a delicious end last night when I roasted them with a little olive oil and garlic. They turned a beautiful golden brown before they were devoured.

Even though spring planting is still a few months away, I’m marking my July calendar to remind myself to start fall planting. Come next January, I know I’ll be glad I did.

Do you have a tasty parsnips recipe you’d like to share? Please post it here.


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Thanks for sending the link to this recipe for parsnip twigs. Will definitely have to try these!

Great idea to make a note on the July calendar to sow these, Jodi – I’ll do it. Parsnips are fast becoming a favorite in my winter kitchen, so being able to harvest my own would be a treat. I don’t have an exact recipe to share, but I love to dice them, roast them in a 350 degree oven with a dash of olive oil, then add them to soups.

Thanks for the idea, Carol. Did you see the link for parsnips twigs? That sounds good, too!

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