I harvested my first parsnips of the year yesterday.
Naturally I felt the need to do cook something nice with them. I chose to do a lamb casserole, flavoured with lots of fragrant spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cumin), and put the parsnips in it like I sometimes put carrots in a beef casserole.
To accompany the lamb dish I did some couscous with loads of (home-grown) parsley for colour and some toasted pistachio nuts to add a bit of crunchy texture. Actually I used so much parsley that I think it probably qualified as one of our "Five a Day" vegetables!
This is my recipe:-
Fragrant spiced lamb with parsnips (serves 2)
Approx 300g diced lamb (I used leg), dusted in seasoned flour
Approx 300g fresh parsnips, peeled and cut into large pieces
2 medium-sized onions, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 litre stock
Quarter teaspoon each of ground cumin, ground cloves, ground cinnamon
Quarter teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Small amount of vegetable oil for frying
In an ovenproof casserole dish, brown the meat in a little oil, then remove it from pan and set aside
Soften but do not brown the onions, in the same pan, using another splash of oil
Add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes
Add the spices and stir into the onions to ensure even distribution
Return the meat to the pan
Add the stock and seasoning
Bring the pan to the boil, cover and place in the oven
Cook at approx 150C until meat is tender, approx one hour
Turn down the heat to approx 130C and add parsnips
Cook for a further hour
Those Parsnips may have been oddly-shaped, but they scored well in taste and texture! Parsnips are one of the mainstays of my Winter garden, and I grow them every year. You have to be patient with them: they grow very slowly and are sometimes hard to germinate, but they don't take up a lot of space and the results are usually very worthwhile.