Parsnip: a Modern Take on This Timeless Vegetable

Parsnips You probably wouldn't assume any relation between parsley and carrots, at least not in their conventionally edible forms. But it just so happens the Parsnip is a close relative of both. Like carrots, parsnips originated in Eurasia and have been...

Parsnips
Parsnips

You probably wouldn't assume any relation between parsley and carrots, at least not in their conventionally edible forms. But it just so happens the Parsnip is a close relative of both. Like carrots, parsnips originated in Eurasia and have been consumed since antiquity. In Roman times, parsnips were nearly indistinguishable from their carrot cousins, and were sometimes used interchangeably with carrots in various cuisine.

Parsnips are largely distinguished in their sweetness, which is greater than that of carrots, though both were used as sweeteners before the accessibility of sugar cane was made possible. Unlike carrots, however, parsnips have an inherent spice flavor, akin to cinnamon and nutmeg.

Despite their strong ties with antiquity, parsnips are gradually making a comeback, and rightfully so. Their dynamic flavors make them well suited for pairings with modern food. With the right ingredients, you can enhance the earthy, savory, or sweet notes of parsnips. For this reason, they are best eaten on their own, with just enough seasoning to bring out their natural delectability.

In keeping with the modern times, we've chosen to use this root vegetable's potential as a meat alternative. You've read correctly; parsnips, it turns out, make for a delicious plate of faux bacon. And you need only three ingredients.

They say "fine words butter no parsnips", but with this recipe you'll soon be on your way to devouring some.

Parsnip Bacon

Parsnip Bacon
Parsnip Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 1 generously sized parsnip
  • vegetable or olive oil
  • smoked salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Carefully clean your parsnip and peel finely, if possible, to retain some of the nutrient-rich skin. Now, with a razor-sharp vegetable peeler or knife, slice the parsnip into thin strips.
  3. Take a small brush and dip in the oil, apply the oil on both sides of each parsnip strip.
  4. Place the strips on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 75 minutes. When finished, the strips should be crisp.

Allow the parsnip bacon to cool and enjoy.

*Take caution while handling the shoots and leaves of parsnips, as the sap can be toxic. Contact with the sap can result in symptoms similar to that of a reaction to poison ivy. But don't let this trouble you, symptoms are rarely seen and have primarily occurred while being harvested by growers.

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