Lest week we covered our kitchen renovation saga at length. It was a fun termite infested walk down memory lane that helped is remember the project that turn us from soft newbie homeowners to hardened DIYers who can take on anything. We may have accomplished our goals, but it also made us thankful that project is behind us. Today we're going to switch gears a little bit from massive kitchen reconstruction to using our kitchen for one of those things it is supposedly meant for...cooking.
In my quest to try new vegetables this winter, I've discovered a new found obsession with Brussels Sprouts as well as an abhorrence of roasted turnips. (Is it just me, or do the turnips taste like sweaty feet?) Today's culinary challenge will focus on the parsnip.
I recently had an amazing side dish at a restaurant that was a delicious concoction of diced roasted carrots and parsnips in a decadent creamy sauce. For my efforts here at home I want to level the playing field in my comparisons and are therefore am preparing all of the veggies in a similar fashion -- dressed in olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted until tender. My feeling is that we'll get a true taste of the natural flavors of the vegetable, rather than it being a comparison of recipes.
After preheating my oven to 425 degrees, I cleaned and peeled my one pound bag of parsnips.
Oddly enough, a recipe I found online (which I used as a rough guide) indicated the parsnips should be peeled but the carrots should not. I have no idea why (anyone have any ideas on that?), but followed the instructions to clean my roughly half pound of carrots.
Next up, I cut the parsnips and carrots into approximately one inch pieces, cutting the larger sections of vegetables in half lengthwise.
After placing the cut vegetables on a baking sheet, I drizzled them with 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
And then sprinkled them with fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste.
Next up, I roasted them in the oven tossing them once until the vegetables were tender and golden brown (just under 30 minutes in our oven). After removing them from the oven, I sprinkled them with freshly chopped parsley I had on hand for a little extra color.
And the result? They were sweet and tender, and what I would classify as an overall success. I preferred the taste of the carrots to the parsnips, but still enjoyed them both. They weren't nearly as delicious as the restaurant version I previously mentioned, but then again, they weren't soaked in butter and cream either.
I'd definitely make them again, but will try out a few new recipes to change them up a bit. One reader suggested adding rosemary and honey to parsnips, which sounds pretty darn amazing. In my opinion though, Brussels Sprouts are still king.
Is anyone else a fan of parsnips? Are there other vegetables you've been experimenting with? Any votes for what I should try next? Rutabaga, if I can find it, could be a contender. (Update: I just learned that turnips and rutabagas are the same thing. :-) Any other suggestions?)