Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rediscovering Parsnips

As my husband and I make an effort to include some Michigan food products in our meals each day (even during the winter season), one food we both have come to rediscover and love is parsnips. I know my mother tried to get my 3 brothers and me to eat this vegetable. I don't really remember how she fixed them, but predictably, the 4 of us turned our noses up as the collective response was "Rejected!". Oh yes, we ate them, but not with the pleasure that my husband and I are eating them now. Have parsnips changed in the past several decades? Ha ha! Of course not, but I think that leads anyone's logic to conclude that I have changed during that time. :-)

Roasted in the oven is our favorite way to eat them, alone or with other root vegetables. Tonight I combined them with some Yukon gold potatoes, carrots, onions, and peeled apple wedges (yes, amazingly I had 4 rather wrinkled organic apples still hanging around for which I found a great use!). I tossed everything with a small amount of olive oil and curry powder, just enough to give some golden color and a flavor that was not overwhelming. Instead the flavor was complementary to both the earthiness of the potatoes, carrots, and onions and the sweetness of the parsnips and apples. I roasted everything together for 60 minutes at 400 degrees F. on a large cookie sheet. Use either parchment paper or a non-stick spray to keep the veggies from sticking. I let them cook for 30 minutes before turning them once with a spatula.

A full cookie sheet of roasted veggies easily makes a side dish to serve 4-6 people. As more of a main dish, that amount may only serve 3-4, which is what I did tonight serving them with a large tossed green salad (not local) that easily covered 2/3 of our dinner plate. The salad alone was probably 3 servings of vegetables (1 cup raw greens per serving) with the cooked veggies and apples probably adding 2 more servings (1/2 cup cooked veggies/fruit per serving). For some added protein, I topped the salad with some previously roasted garbanzo beans (yum, yum - I'll put this recipe in another posting later this week.)

Our grace tonight:

We are thankful for food and drink,
For appetite and the power to think,
For loved ones dear,
For home and friends,
For everything the good Earth sends.
~~Author Unknown

What foods are you eating (and enjoying) now that you "rejected!" as a child?

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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