Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year, New Food: Parsnips

With one rare exception (I'm giving the hairy eyeball to you, cauliflower) I have yet to meet a vegetable I didn't like. As a picky child, turned adventurous adult diner, I was beginning to wonder if I'd tried all the vegetables out there. Surely not.

Along came Whole Foods, OKC, and now a have a new source for some "exotic" produce you don't find in a small town Walmart. Enter the parsnip. I'd never tried this root veggie, but when it was highlighted in "Vegetarian Times" and "Runners World" in the same month, I decided to track one down and eat it.

Now, what the heck to do with a parsnip? I decided to toss it into a crockpot of root veggies (just like pot roast vegetables, sans roast). Here's the cast for our dinner: mushrooms, carrots, sweet potato, pearl onions, butternut squash, and one big ole parsnip (front and center).
In the store, it looks like a mutant, albino, zombie carrot. Here it is all cleaned up.

You clean up nice, little parsnip. I chopped it up and dumped into my crock pot with the other veggies.
The verdict: The parsnip fit right in with the other root veggies and friends. It tasted like a cross between a carrot and a white potato. It softened up much more than the carrots, though, so evidently parsnips don't need to cook for hours like most of the veggies in this dish.

What's the most "exotic" veggie you've tried? Was it a winner?

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