Parsnips have a nutty, slightly sweet taste when they are in-season, with hints of cinnamon or nutmeg. After cool weather sets in, they get even sweeter.
When are parsnips in season?
Parsnips are in season throughout fall, winter and spring - starting around September. They turn starches into sugar over winter to get ready for new growth in spring, so ones that are harvested in very early spring can be really tender and sweet. But if harvested too late, after the plant creates new leaves, they become tough and woody.
How to pick
Like carrots, you want sturdy roots that don't give when you bend them (indicating they are no longer fresh). Avoid ones with tiny hairs on the ends, it's a sign they didn't have enough water while growing, so they won't taste as good.
How to store
Store parsnips in an open container in the crisper drawer, and they will last about 3 weeks. If the tops were on the parsnips, cut them off, as they will draw moisture out from the root.
Meal prep: you can cut parsnips and store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days without a loss of quality.
No, just scrub them clean. There is actually a lot of flavor and nutrients in the peel. It isn't woody or fibrous, you won't even know they are on.
Yes, just like carrots. However it isn't as common. Cut them up for an appetizer platter, or slice them up for a salad paired with walnuts, apples, and cheese.
Seasonal parsnip recipe collection
Each recipe in below only uses ingredients that are in season at the same time as parsnips, or ingredients that have a year-round season. Since their season overlaps with the beginning or end of other fruits and vegetables, the recipes are grouped into early season, late season, or anytime they are available.
...For anytime they are in season
Parsnip fries with truffle oil - recipe by Paleo Grubs
Parsnip spice cake with maple pecan butter cream - recipe by Natural Contents
Move over carrot cake - the warm-spiced parsnips are perfect for cake.