Winter roots: The healthy and fine-sweet parsnip

Winter roots: The healthy and fine-sweet parsnip

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Nowadays, the parsnip is making a comeback in German cuisine. This is mainly thanks to organic farmers who have grown the well-known root vegetables again in recent years.

The parsnip has a delicately sweet to nutty aroma that is reminiscent of carrots or celery. For raw food, it is grated and served with a lemon dressing. The delicate roots also taste steamed as vegetables with lamb and game, in a creamy soup, in a stew, in a casserole and as nibble chips with a herb dip. In vegetable fritters they can be combined with potatoes and carrots.

A classic of English cuisine is parsnip puree, which is prepared similar to mashed potatoes and is often served with roasted meat. The English also make flour for cakes and pastries from dried roots. Even the leaves are cut into small pieces and used as a spice, similar to parsley.

The root is rich in starch and sugar and therefore very nutritious. The sweetness increases with increasing frost. Other positive ingredients are minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium, provitamin A, vitamins B and C and essential oils that are responsible for the unique taste.

The parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) belongs to the umbelliferae family and still grows wild all over Europe along roadsides, slopes and meadows. The culture form has a thicker root. It is colored yellow to brown and can be forty centimeters long and 1.5 kilograms. In the 18th century, parsnips were still an important staple in Germany until they were replaced by potatoes and carrots.

Before preparation, the vegetables are cleaned with a brush under running water and peeled thinly. The two ends are removed and the root cut into slices, pencils or cubes, depending on the recipe. Fresh parsnips are still available until spring, at the weekly market, in the health food store and also in well-stocked supermarkets. When shopping, give preference to small, firm specimens that are particularly delicate. The skin should be shiny and the green should be fresh and juicy. Wrapped in a damp kitchen towel, parsnips stay in the vegetable compartment of the fridge for around two weeks.
(Heike Kreutz, aid)

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Video: How to Cook Parsnips


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