From the Urban Kitchen website (http://www.urbankitchentulsa.com/)
What in the world is...a parsnip?
Indeed! What is this new darling of the food world? You hear about it everywhere now but new? Not really...the parsnip has been around for hundreds of years when the Europeans brought it to the US in the early 1600s! For some reason, this creamy-white root has never become an American favorite...until now! Chefs across the country have taken up this overlooked little gem and are putting it into everything from cakes to mashed potatoes (actually using it INSTEAD of mashers).
Parsnips look a lot like carrots except, yes...they're white. They have a pleasantly sweet yet spicy flavor that goes well with many foods and enriches the flavor profiles of vegetable soups and stock as well as roasted meats, especially birds. No need to peel them because most of the flavor lies just beneath the skin so just give them a good scrub. Because of the sugar content, parsnips will caramelize nicely when roasted or baked but are good boiled or steamed and then mashed with butter and cream...yum!
Parsnips are available year-round but are best now and into winter. Choose small to medium, well-shaped roots that are not limp. They will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
So...be fearless! Try slicing parsnips into your next potato gratin, add them to your Thanksgiving mash, or just roast them in the oven with a little olive oil, butter, salt and pepper...and the rest of your winter vegetables.
Embrace the humble but lovely parsnip