This past weekend, I found a beautiful bag of local, organic parsnips at my favourite store. I realized then that it had been a long time since I made a dish using this ordinary looking winter vegetable.
Parsnips are often overlooked in stores as they get overshadowed by all the other colourful and vibrant vegetables. Don’t let their dull cream-coloured exterior fool you, though. Parsnips do contain a generous amount of vitamins, minerals and fiber. For this, Jamie Oliver refers to parsnips as the “humble little vegetable”.
Roasting parsnips with some olive oil and sea salt brings out their sweetness making them a kid-friendly dish for those very picky eaters! I have taken this salad (recipe from my Green Door Restaurant Vegetarian Cookbook) to many functions and it has received some rave reviews.
Parsnip Salad with Japanese Dressing
- parsnips, approx. 2 1/2 pounds, peeled and cut into chunks of approximately the same size
Parsnips turn dark when peeled and exposed to air for any length of time. Once peeled and cut, immediately toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil. Spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees, for roughly 30 minutes, or until tender. Let cool.
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon crushed garlic
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1/2 tablespoon dark sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- the juice of one lemon
Mix well and pour over cooled roasted parsnips.
- arame seaweed* (soaked for 20 minutes and drained), sliced green onion, sliced or diced red pepper, and finely chopped parsley
*Arame seaweed is a good choice for introducing the palate to sea vegetables, as its taste is sweet and mild. I would definitely recommend giving it a try – arame is high in iron, calcium and iodine. Add it to your soups, salads or stews!