How Do I Roast Parsnips?

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  • Written By: Cynde Gregory
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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Anyone who has tasted roast parsnips is likely to want to change the words of the song to “Parsnips roasting on an open fire ...” Roasting brings out the sweeter side of this underappreciated root vegetable, and it’s so easy that even a child with clean hands and someone to help with the knife can do it. Roasting parsnips is just a matter of scrubbing and quartering them, rubbing them with a little olive oil, and sticking them in a medium-hot oven until they’re done.

Roast parsnips are the perfect accompaniment to roasted and baked meats of all kinds. Beef, pork, and poultry go well with the potato-like texture of the parsnips. Vegetarians love these delicious and healthy root veggies for their hearty taste and the fact that they fill you up and leave you satisfied.

There are dozens of ways to add to the flavor of roasted parsnips when just plain gets old. You can roast them in just a little rich chicken stock together with some minced garlic. For cooks who like a little hot cha cha, adding horseradish or a couple of drops of Caribbean hot sauce livens things up. A spritz of lemon just before serving is another way to go.


For those who like their veggies a tad on the sweet side, adding brown sugar or maple syrup helps caramelize the roast parsnips. Try throwing some ginger and garlic into this to keep the sweetness from becoming overwhelming. These are especially nice served with brown rice. Quinoa, barley, or a wild rice mixture are other possibilities.

Other ways to change up the flavor are found in seasonings. Thyme and rosemary are nice with a basic treatment involving olive oil, garlic, and a spritz of lemon. Cumin and cardamom offer an exotic twist. Adding a bit of curry powder or paste to the oil or stock transforms roast parsnips into something mysterious and wonderful.

Parsnips aren’t the only root vegetable that responds well to roasting. Carrots, rutabagas, and turnips all mellow and turn surprisingly sweet after spending time in a toasty oven. Tossing a few peeled cloves of garlic in suffuses them all with flavor. Some cooks like to roast them all at once and serve them on a platter together.

Packed with vitamins A and C, as well as with a number of antioxidants, parsnips belong on every table. Glazing the roast parsnips and other veggies with orange juice and a little honey makes them even more delectable. Even children who turn up their noses at many veggies consider those that have been roasted to be a treat.


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