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Pointers for your parsnips

Here are some top tips and recipes to help you make the most of this festive favourite.

How to prepare parsnips

  • Firstly, wash and peel the parsnip with a peeler (a knife may be easier if you have a wonky parsnip) – then trim both ends and cut into pieces.
  • The more rugged and rustic the better for warming autumn dishes, while neat and tidy batons are best with your Christmas dinner.
  • Roast or steam for the best results – boiling can leave them soggy and mushy. For a side dish, roast at 180°C for about 20 minutes, or steam for 10 minutes until soft.
  • You can also try grated raw parsnip as a salad ingredient over your usual favourites for a light lunch.

Maple Roasted Roots Recipe

A great way to serve parsnips and carrots over the winter – and an easy way to add a little twist to tradition when it comes to your Christmas dinner vegetables.

You’ll need:

  • 800g carrots
  • 800g parsnips
  • 300g shallots
  • 3 tblspn maple syrup
  • 3 tblspn sunflower oil
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 thyme sprigs

How to make it:

  1. Heat the oven to 200c/ 180c/ Gas 6. Place the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Drizzle the maple syrup and sunflower oil over the vegetables, sprinkle with ground cloves and season to taste. Toss together well and transfer to a large roasting tin.
  3. Roast for 40 minutes, turning the vegetables halfway through the cooking time. just before serving scatter with the thyme.

Parsnip & Pear Soup Recipe

This is a tasty and warming recipe for mixing up your homemade soup options – or using up your pile of parsnip leftovers after Christmas.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 pints vegetable stock
  • 4 shallots, peeled and diced
  • 500g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 50g blue cheese, crumbled

How to make it:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the shallots. Fry gently for 5 minutes until they’re softened but not browned.
  2. Add the parsnips, cider vinegar, pears and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, then blend with a stick blender (or in a liquidiser) until smooth – add more stock if needed.
  3. Add the rosemary leaves, cheese and a little seasoning. Cook over a low heat, stirring until the cheese melts, then serve.

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