In the end I found six Parsnips, if you discount the couple of really minuscule ones that went straight in the compost-bin:
As you can see, they varied in size a lot. Two of them are borderline cases - hardly big enough to be worth using, though they WILL get used in our household! The biggest one weighed 314 grams, and the whole batch together was 733 grams. That's easily enough for two 2-person servings.
They look better when they are washed:
Of course, I'm showing them off to their best advantage there, but I have to admit that the big one got damaged during lifting. Turn it over and you see this:
Not a pretty sight! I accidentally jabbed my trowel into it, creating a deep cut. Rats! It would be the best one, wouldn't it?
Anyway, all is not lost, most of the Parsnip will be useable as long as we use it straight away. With a cut like this it would soon go bad if you tried to keep it. That photo also shows that the Parsnips have a mild case of the Canker disease, which gives them the appearance of being rusty. This is normal. Most Parsnips get it to some degree or other, unless you take special care with them because you are growing them for exhibition purposes (and even then, I don't know what that "special care" involves!). Unless the Canker is particularly severe I don't worry about it, as it is only skin-deep and is removed when peeling prior to cooking.
Jane and I both love Parsnips, but we do not have a big repertoire of recipes that use them. Most often we eat them just plain-roasted with a bit of oil or PAM, and I can only think of another couple of dishes involving Parsnips that qualify as old favourites, namely Curried Parsnip soup and Sausages with Puy lentils and Parsnips. (Oh, and now Parsnip chips cooked in the Acti-Fry machine). They are not as versatile as Carrots, are they?
I've never even eaten a parsnip before. I was going to grow them one year, but they never got into the ground. Maybe some year I'll try them.ReplyDelete
I love parsnips. We've been so lucky having so many left on our new plot, I keep digging more than we need for dinner and freezing a batch at a time for later use and there's still loads left to lift. I think we'll be eating them all year at this rate, but I don't mind that one bit. I mainly roast them but I do add them to stews and casseroles too.ReplyDelete
I have parsnip seeds given by Diana. I 've never eaten parsnip before but would love to try it one day.ReplyDelete
Canker resistant varieties of parsnip seeds are available - indeed you may already be using them as they are not totally canker-proof ! On my allotment, resistant types still get canker, but with some ordinary varieties (especially the broad shouldered varieties) the whole top of the parsnip turns to a cankerous mush. If you don't already use resistant varieties, they might provide just enough protection for your raised bed crop.ReplyDelete
Good uses of parsnips include: as mash (with or without potato added) on fish or meat pies; chunky in korma style curry or venison/game casserole; fried patties (mash mixed with chopped onion, bacon, chorizo, cooked lentils, cabbage, leftover vegetables, herbs or spices made into patties and fried/baked). Enjoy !
I love parsnips, much more than roast potatoes. Though I'm not sure if I will grow them this year.ReplyDelete
What's a little canker between friends?ReplyDelete
I'm a fan of eating parsnips but I don't really grow them. The Dept of Environment in NI released a story today warning about poison parsnips being washed up on beaches. Here is the article if you are interested:ReplyDelete
I have to admit that I have ignored Parsnips completely all my life, never even curious about what they might be like! So I looked them up online and even by definition they were described as an "underloved vegetable, close to carrot, but dirtier." Can you believe it? Well, poor things. I shall now try to eat some, as it seems dreadfully wrong not to taste a bit of everything, doesn't it? And if you and Jane are fond of them, they must taste very good.ReplyDelete
Just done the same - mine too have canker although the first lot at Christmas didn't. Perhaps leaving them in the ground longer?ReplyDelete
We've made parsnip crisps recently. And a parsnip puree works well with almost anything. Parsnip and potato mash is lovely... especially on the top of a cottage pie.ReplyDelete
Your parsnips look like excellent specimens - so much more impressive than my weirdly shaped ones. Personally I think they are at their best in soup (ideally curried) but like you I also eat them roasted but not in too many other ways. Not sure if I can be bothered experimenting with them or not. Sometimes there is a reason why some things are used in much the same way by everyone...ReplyDelete