I love parsnips. We only see them in the winter which makes them a little more unique than their cousin the carrot. This is a very fast and easy recipe that will go with practically any meal. It takes about 15 minutes to make. I call these Honey Parsnip Fries for kids because they are super sweet and they have a great texture.
Just like carrots these root veggies have a lot of sugar, similar to that of a banana actually. Because of this they are not suitable for diabetic diets but they are great for kids! Parsnips provide lots of dietary fiber, vitamin C, Folic Acid, B complex vitamins, minerals like iron, calcium, copper, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. As in carrots and other members of apiaceae family vegetables, parsnip too contains many poly-acetylene anti-oxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol, and methyl-falcarindiol. Several research studies from scientists at University of Newcastle at Tyne found that these compounds have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer function and offer protection from colon cancer and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Read more about nutrition in this and other foods you eat here.
Step One: Scrub the outside of the parsnips but don’t peel them. The skin makes a nice crispy texture and provides a lot of nutritional value. Peeling veggies is one of the biggest mistake we make when it comes to nutrition. Cut the parsnips into french fry size sticks, but not too small. You want some surface area to caramelize and brown in the pan.
Step Two: Heat up your iron skillet to medium high temp with some olive oil and a pad of butter. Place the parsnips around the skillet, careful to not overcrowd and make sure all the parsnips are touching the pan. If the pan is too crowded they will steam and you won’t get a nice crispy texture. Add some thyme leaves if you have them and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 5 minutes with lid off, cover for 5 minutes then turn over all the parsnips to crisp again. Cover if they are still too firm.
Step 3: Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and cook for a few minutes with the lid off to allow the balsamic to caramelize. Toss the parsnips in the glaze in the pan. Serve with sprigs of thyme as garnish.