Some produce at the market may be things some of us have never cooked with before and parsnips are one of those. Here’s some info so you can give them a try. Parsnips are root vegetables available locally in Ontario from October to March. Parsnips are best roasted but can also be steamed like mashed potatoes. Parsnips pair well with squash, carrots, potatoes and other fall and winter vegetables.

Buying Guide: Look for straight, small (5- to 10-inch) smooth-skinned roots. Large ones may have woody cores. Avoid parsnips that are limp or shriveled or that have splits or brown spots.

Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag up to 10 days.

To Roast: Peel and cut parsnips into about 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) thick sticks. Transfer to large bowl; toss with oil, salt and pepper. Roast on greased baking sheet in 450°F (230°C) oven for about 20 minutes or until tender and golden at edges.

To Steam: Peel, then trim ends parsnips. Cut the vegetables in half lengthwise. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add parsnip halves, cover, and continue cooking until parsnips are tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Uncover the pan and shake it frequently until liquid has evaporated. Pour the vegetables into a bowl and add salt to taste.

Parsnips are rich in fibre and have vitamin C, K and Folate.


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