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In praise of the "lowly" parsnip.

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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 05:40 PM
Original message
In praise of the "lowly" parsnip.
Edited on Sun Oct-23-11 05:45 PM by Denninmi
Too bad, IMHO, that parsnips are virtually unknown in today's cuisine. I'd venture a guess that most people have NEVER tasted one. Prior to the Spanish conquest of the Americas, parsnips served the role that the white potato now does, the staple storage root crop with a high yield per acre of relatively calorie dense, nutrient dense food.

While they are definitely at their sweet, succulent best as soon as the soil thaws in the earliest spring, I was poking around the beds doing cleanup this afternoon, saw a particular large looking top to a parsnip root, and had to pull the beast and see what it was.

Well, it was about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, and about a foot long. Could have been a bit longer, but it was probably the variety 'Hollow Crown', which tends to be shaped like a 'Danvers' carrot or George Costanza -- short and stocky. I planted Hollow Crown, Harris Model, and the hybrid variety Javelin (from Johnny's). Harris Model is longer than Hollow Crown, and it definitely wasn't Javelin, which is at most about an inch and half at the shoulder, and can be 18 inches long before it tapers to too-thin-to-eat.

So, after taking it to the kitchen sink for a good scrubbing, I sliced it into thin medallions, sliced a large white onion into similar-thickness slices, and put the combo in a covered bowl in the microwave on high for about 5 1/2 minutes to pre-cook them.

Then, into a pre-heated 50-50 blend of melted butter and canola oil, cooking on a medium heat and flipping several times until nicely browned on both sides. A little salt and pepper, and it made a fine accompanyment to the pot roast with pink-fleshed potatoes I had previously started this morning in the crockpot. The final accompaniment -- a daikon slaw with a sweet and sour vinegar dressing.

And yes, the parsnip fry was absolutely delicious. I don't think the parsnip nor I missed the frost.

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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Just posted in your parsnip C&B thread too, but I can never say
"Yay for parsnips!" enough. Love, love, love them. :)
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-23-11 11:37 PM
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2. I've yet to make peace with the parsnip, but am addicted to Brussels Sprouts!
:hi:
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-24-11 01:50 AM
Response to Original message
3. They remind me of my late maternal grandma


who loved them.

Thanks for the cooking tip.


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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 12:48 PM
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4. We are included those you mentioned who have never tasted one,
...but your post has aroused our interest.
Researching now.
They will be included in our future.

We are very interested in crops that are considered rare, unusual, exotic, or forgotten in this area.
Thanks.
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. That' s right up my alley.
If it might possibly grow here, I've probably tried it.

So, what other unusual crops are you interested in?

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BlueToTheBone Donating Member (196 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-11 04:48 PM
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6. When do you plant them?
I love the way they taste, but I'm learning, tell me more.
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Early spring through early June here.
Well, at least in my climate. I guess in the hottest parts of the country, they plant them in the early fall to grow during the winter.

Here in SE Michigan, basically any time from as soon as the ground thaws until about June 15th -- if you plant them later than that, you can still harvest quite small "baby" parsnips about an inch wide at the top, but they won't have time to get fully grown. Early you get them in, the bigger they'll get.

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