I’ve only really come to enjoy the parsnip in the last few years– in fact, I think I can honestly say that I never saw a parsnip in a grocery store prior to living in New England. Was is blindness caused by lack of parsnip awareness, or were there actually not parsnips available? I can’t tell you. They are a mighty vegetable, though, with a long history back to colonial America and northern Europe, where it was both the “potato” of the Middle Ages and a source of sweetness in savory and sweet dishes.

Beyond a simple parsnip mash at Thanksgiving or the requisite veg with your meat, this is a lovely way to enjoy them as snacks or a cocktail party canape base. I’d bet you could even find some children fond of white vegetables who would love them. You do need fat parsnips for theses, though, so you’re best off buying them loose instead of in a bag. Look for ones with a diameter of at least an inch and a half (4 cm or so). Add spices or herbs to suit the meal. Cinnamon might be good for a sweeter option, or thyme and black pepper for a savory flavor.

Roasted Parsnip Rounds

3-4 large parsnips
1 T olive oil (or to taste)

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Peel, if desired, and slice the parsnips into 1/4 to 1/3″ rounds (6 mm or so). Lightly coat the rounds in the olive oil. Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until browned on the bottom. Flip, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until browned on both sides.

Linked to: Gluten-free Wednesdays