A Single 'Snip
Written by Calliope Pappadakis   
Thursday, 11 November 2010 22:56

 

Parsnip HarvestI harvested our very first parnsip tonight, right as the sun was setting and casting a warm glow over the high tunnel. These babies were planted almost exactly 120 days ago, sometime during the 2nd week of July. I had planned to throw one of the roots into the skillet for dinner and wanted it fresh and right from the ground, so I ran outside to harvest it minutes before dusk.

 


Parsnip Top

Thar she blows! I carefully loosened the dirt around it with the shovel, pushed away the dirt from around the top of the root and it came out (and kept coming!) after a few careful tugs.

 

Parsnip LengthParsnip Foreshortened EffectParsnip WidthParsnip 15 inches

I couldn't believe how long it was! What unique dimensions: 15" long x 2 1/2" wide -- a broad-shouldered, skinny feller! This is a Lancer Parsnip - Lancer being the variety (a refined old school Harris Model type). We'll call him Lance. He looks like he goes to Gold's Gym.

 

Parsnip and WineParsnip on ScaleParsnip in Hand

I also grabbed a handful of baby carrots and some rosemary before I headed back inside for a continued photo shoot with this rad vegetable that weighed in at almost half a pound.

 

The delicious tap root was enjoyed by the ancient Greeks and Romans and takes up relatively little space space for the amount of food it provides. The foliage grows to about 3 feet in length and the root can be up to 18 inches long. Pastinaca Sativum has a very long shelf-life and its history outdates the potato by centuries. It's from the same family as carrots and parsley and if left in the ground through the fall, the cold weather turns its starches to sugar providing a crop that can be used for dinner and dessert, too! There is an old folktale that says that if left in the ground through the cold season, the parsnip becomes poisonous. That rigmarole is for the birds! Veg Paradise puts the flavor and texture into words: "Sweet and delicate best describes the parsnip's outstanding flavors, while starchy, smooth, and light characterize its texture. Because of its starchy nature, the parsnip can easily stand-in for potatoes in meal planning." I agree! And the preparation is a cinch.  Our dish tonight was "Sauteed Parsnips and Carrots With Honey and Rosemary" and here are the stars of the show + butter.

Ingredients for the parsnip dish

 

Removing the parsnips woody coreCored Parsnip

I scrubbed the dirt from the root with a vegetable scrub brush, and cut off the top, sliced it length-wise and removed the woody core. I don't much believe in peeling things if you don't have to since that is a nutrient-rich part of the veggie or fruit, so I left the outer skin in place. Next, I sliced the parnsip and the baby carrots into pieces for the sautee pan.

 

Sautee Parsnip 1Parsnip Sautee 2Parsnips Sautee 3Parsnip Sautee 4

After heating up about a tablespoon of olive oil, I threw in the sweet roots, sea salt and cracked pepper, and cooked them for about 8 minutes, stirring frequehtly, before adding the rosemary, butter and honey, and then an additional 2-3 minutes.

 

Parsnips On the Plate 1Parsnips on the Plate 2Herbed Bread

What a treat! We enjoyed them with Cajun Meatloaf and Herbed Bread. Mmh! Oh and we may have had this sweet treat, too.

Happy Thanksgiving, a tad early!

ssp_director/albums/album-122/lg/2010-11-11_First_Parsnip__6_.JPGParsnip Width