A simple broccoli side that will finally welcome your family into the “Clean Plate Club".…
If you’re looking to add a unique flair to your cozy, winter dinners – parsnips are the way to go. These are super underrated but the perfect addition to a comfort dinner these months.
It’s not a carrot, it’s not a turnip, and it looks nothing like a potato, however, parsnips embrace components of all of the above. It’s hard to describe, to say the least. They appear as white carrots and are versatile like carrots, however, they have a more earthy, sweet and nutty flavor. This is one of those root vegetables that goes really well in so many recipes. Roasted with a hearty meat or pureed in soup, this vegetable is the side of veggies that compliments a comfort dish all winter long.
I think the moment I knew that parsnips were going to be a staple in my winter recipe collection was when I went to a friend’s house for the holidays years ago and had parsnips for the first time. We sat down for a lovely holiday dinner with a fully cooked bird resting on a bed of vegetables, and knowing me I went for a hefty scoop of the vegetables before the turkey. In my mind I thought I would be enjoying some carrots, onions and even potatoes but I was pleasantly surprised biting into these soft, creamy and nutty pieces of joy. The slow cook of the parsnip in the turkey juice was pure heaven. Again, I am aware I’m the unique guest who gets giddy about the vegetables before anything else. These were a notch above the others.
When I started playing around with parsnips in my own kitchen I wanted to try different ways to incorporate these into dinners. Slow braised with meats and juices is a fantastic way to get them soft and full of flavor. For this recipe, I wanted to experiment with a simple roasting of the root but of course I wanted the flavor to come from one of my other favorite ingredients…cheese!
These were insanely crispy and delicious. I honestly started eating these directly off the baking sheet, they were that good! Maybe it was the cheese, maybe it was the soft, creamy warm vegetables, who knows? I just needed a fork and knife and I was set. Knowing that I was getting some nutrients in with my cheese gave me even more joy and satisfaction.
Parsnips are generally low in calories and packed full of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and the list goes on and on. They also provide you with a bit of fiber and minimal amounts of sugar. These are fat free which is why I love adding olive oil and cheese to these. There are a lot of reasons this vegetable can support your health in different ways, but the good news is they taste good so even though you’re eating a nutritious vegetable, you can enjoy them as well.
Keep in mind these can be substituted for potatoes with some additional nutrients. Roasted parsnips are a fantastic substitute for roasted potatoes, fries or potato gratin. These are generally inexpensive (although may cost a little more than potatoes) but always a unique option when trying to add a different, yet, elevated flavor to your dinner.
Roasting, boiling, steaming, frying, shredding, sautéing parsnips are all reasonable ways to prep this vegetable for tons of unique recipe ideas. Personally, I would start with roasting the vegetable for almost a toasted-caramel like flavor. If you want to feel safe about choosing a vegetables to rest meat on top of for a slow roast or a vegetable that braises well in a pot, these are perfect for that.
Here are some other recipes to consider when making parsnips:
You can’t go wrong with Parmesan Roasted Parsnips to many different fall/winter dishes. It may be crispy cheese or the vegetable itself being warm and soft, but regardless, this is the perfect vegetable side to give you some comfort in knowing that you’re getting a good, nutritious side to whatever cozy comfort dish you crave in the coldest parts of the winter.
Parmesan Roasted Parsnips
- 1½ pounds parsnips halved
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- salt & pepper to taste
- ½-⅔ cups parmesan cheese shredded
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Wash, trim ends, and cut parsnips in half, longways. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper spray with nonstick cooking spray. Lay parsnips cut side down on paper and allow space between.
- Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes on one side and then remove. Flip the parsnips over to their other side and roast for another 20-30 minutes until tender.
- Remove. Season with a little more salt and pepper and then top evenly with parmesan cheese. Roast for an additional 5-10 minutes until the cheese bubbles and gets slightly crispy.
- Remove and top with parsley.