Sweet in flavour and robust in feel, parsnips are often the first side dish to be scoffed. However, they can be used for much more than simply a roasted side. Like their relative carrots, they can be used in sweet dishes and brunch recipes, and deserve to take centre stage as the star component of a main course. Here, we’ve picked our 10 favourite ways to cook with this versatile root veg.
Savour the nutrients and don’t bother peeling young, small parsnips. Gently scrub them to remove any dirt and serve whole.
When dealing with older parsnips, peel very thinly to avoid waste. Make a judgement call on whether the central core is too fibrous and tough to be cooked.
Uncooked parsnips keep in the fridge for around one week.
Our top 10 parsnip recipes
1. Parsnip latkes
Why not try something different for brunch by swapping the potato in these latkes for grated parsnips? Fry them with fresh dill and serve with smoked haddock, spinach and a runny poached egg for the ultimate savoury comfort food.
2. Spiced parsnip & cauliflower soup
Green chillies and coriander give this hearty soup its colour. Flavour your winter vegetables with fennel seed, turmeric and ginger.
If you’re hosting a buffet, these curried parsnip soup shots will make the perfect canapés. Serve with a dainty topping of prosiutto or choose crisp kale for a vegan option.
3. Truffled parsnip & parmesan bruschetta
Turn the knobbly root into something altogether more elegant by puréeing and serving on Italian-style toasts for a light starter or as part of a canapé menu.
4. Parsnip gnocchi
Who says parsnips have to be plain? Transform this veg into beautiful golden dumplings for an impressive vegan dinner-party main. Finish off the gnocchi with a sprinkling of thyme, pepper and crunchy toasted walnuts.
5. Chickpea & roasted parsnip curry
When the chilly winter nights start to draw in, a wholesome vegan curry may be just what you need! Crispy parsnips work perfectly mixed with soft chickpeas and coated in a creamy coconut sauce. Usinge a ready-made curry paste means you can prepare this dish in just 15 minutes, making it a speedy midweek meal. If you’ve got more time, try our fragrant, slow-cooked parsnip pilaf with a zingy mint salsa verde.
6. Roast parsnip & chestnut salad
You don’t get much more wintry than this rustic mix. Finish your salad with a honey-rosemary dressing and serve alongside a vegetarian main course. Or, try our sesame parsnip & wild rice tabbouleh, which delivers two of your 5-a-day!
7. Honey-mustard parsnip & potato bake
The beauty of this dish lies in its multiple textures – a creamy sauce, crunchy breadcrumb topping and chunky parsnips.
8. Roast parmesan parsnips
Polenta and cheese add a lovely crispy crumb to these roasted parsnip fingers, great for serving with roasted meat and fish. If you’re catering for veggies, make sure you use vegetarian parmesan. For a sweet-and-spicy twist, try our sticky harissa & marmalade roasted roots.
9. Sticky toffee parsnip pudding
Parsnips may not be the first thing you’d throw in a pudding, but believe us, this magic ingredient helps to both soften and lighten the sponge texture. The root veg also imparts a sweetness that balances the salty caramel sauce and zingy stem ginger perfectly, making it an all-round winner.
10. Parsnip & maple syrup cake
This bake won our 20th birthday cake competition, and for good reason. Parsnips and maple syrup are a heavenly combination, and when teamed with spices, mascarpone and pecans, it’s a seriously special sandwich cake.
We have plenty more parsnip recipes, or check out our guide for cooking with root vegetables.
We’d love to hear about your favourite parsnip dishes. Leave a comment below…