Saturday, March 5, 2011

Iron Chef every week - Parsnips!

The secret ingredient...what's it going to be?  Each week Riverdog Farm faithfully brings me a big box of veggies.  I have no control over what's in it.  What was once highly annoying for a recovering control freak has become a joy.  Even my  boys race to the door around 7:30 on Thursdays to see what we've got.

Parsnips were my secret ingredient of the week.

The creamy white, rough carrot-looking vegetable had eluded me for years.  My multitude of French cookbooks employed them faithfully in many ways, but since they were not prevalent in the grocery stores  except in an easy-to-overlook plastic bag that looked just like packaged carrots, I hadn't ever gone out of my way to cook them.  Oh, yeah, I just recalled there was a day about two years ago when they had come in my box and they sat around for awhile before I cooked them.  When at last I did, the decided upon cooking method of pureeing them like potatoes was a complete failure.

But there they were staring me in the face again. So not being one to back down, I knew it was time to make them work. Lightbulb!!  Parsnip Fries!  Somewhere in all my food reading (was it a blog, a magazine, yet another cookbook?) I had heard about them.  I conquered them...though I didn't love them, half my family did and devoured the whole plate.  They are high in potassium like potatoes, but have a bit more fiber and lower carbs.  If you like sweet potato fries and find yourself face-to-face with a bunch of parsnips, try this!

CWYG Stats

Veggie Box Items - Parsnips

CWYG Items - Olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs (Feel free to add any fresh herbs you might have on hand, like rosemary and thyme.  Or you can toss them with these after the emerge from the oven.)

Parsnip Fries
1 bunch parsnips
Olive oil, salt and pepper
Herbs, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Peel the parsnips then cut out the woody core by cutting the parsnips in quarters lengthwise and then cutting the core out at an angle.  Cut the now core-less quarters into 3" pieces, then cut each one into thin sticks.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Bake until brown and crispy.

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