A parsnip looks like a white carrot (and is, in fact, in the same family). Along with their sweet flavor, parsnips bring vitamin
C, folate, and potassium to the table.
Season: Year-round; peak fall through spring.
How to Choose Parsnips
Parsnips are a root vegetable and, like carrots, are often sold without their leafy green tops. Look for small to medium-size creamy white roots that are smooth, firm, blemish-free, and free of pitting. Soft spots, limpness, and a shriveled end are signs that a parsnip is old and will probably be woody and dry. Winter parsnips are often sweeter than those picked in the fall, since cold weather converts their starches to sugars.
How to Store Parsnips
Keep parsnips unwashed (moisture speeds decay) in a bag in the refrigerator for up to a month.
How to Prepare Parsnips
Peel parsnips just before cooking. Large parsnips can have a tough, fibrous core that’s unpleasant to eat. If you have a big one, quarter lengthwise and cut out the center before cooking.
How to Use Parsnips
Parsnips make a delicious puree, and roasting (mix with other root vegetables) brings out their sweetness. They can also be boiled, sautéed, or mashed.
Real Simple Parsnip Recipes:
- Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup
- Parsnip and Fennel Soup With Dill
- Steak With Potato-Parsnip Mash
- Roasted Parsnips and Carrots With Sage
- Potato and Parsnip Mash
Fruits and vegetables at their peak right now.
Find out what's in season in your area right now, then locate a farmers' market near you.