I’ve always roasted honeyed parsnips alongside a turkey but as a marker of the culinary special relationship celebrated in this chapter, I’ve remodelled slightly, adding intensity of sweetness to the already sweet parsnips, not with honey but with maple syrup. And actually, this is more than a change, it’s an improvement: there is more ambiguity about the maple syrup, its sweetness less cloying.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe CourseSide Dish, Vegetable
Dietary ConsiderationVegan, Vegetarian
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and TextureSweet
Type of DishVegetable
- 2lbs Parsnips
- ½ cup Vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup Maple syrup
It seems foolish to say “preheat the oven,” when it’s frankly going to be on anyway, but if you were cooking this to go alongside – say – some cold, leftover turkey, when it would be just as good as first time around, then you need a hottish oven, say 400°F, and the parsnips would need around 35 minutes in it. But if you’ve got the oven on very hot because of the roast potatoes, then you are better off parboiling the parsnips so that they need less time actually in the oven; 15 minutes should be enough to turn them chewy and maple-bronzed.
So, peel the parsnips and halve them crosswise, then halve or quarter each piece lengthwise, so that you have a bundle of spindly shards. Either blanch these fawn-colored twigs in salted boiling water for 3 or so minutes, or just put them straight into a roasting pan, pour over the oil, smoosh them about and then dribble over the maple syrup and roast until tender and stickily brown. Be careful as you taste to test: the sugar content of the parsnips, more even than the syrup, make these blisteringly hot.
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2004 Nigella Lawson