A favourite winter root vegetable, parsnips are a member of the carrot family and have a sweet, earthy flavour, which can be found throughout the year. In the past they were used for making jams and cakes, before sugar was widely available. Parsnip wine and beer were also popular. Choose small to medium, creamy white parsnips and avoid those with any dark patches or sprouting roots.
Uses: As an accompanying vegetable, either roasted, baked or boiled. In stews, casseroles and soups. Raw parsnips can be grated and added to salads.
To store: Keep in a cool, dry place for up to 10 days.
To prepare: Very small parsnips don't need peeling, just wash them and top and tail. Medium to large parsnips should be peeled and chopped into even-sized chunks, halves or quarters.
To cook: Cook in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes until tender. To roast, heat a little olive oil in a roasting tin at 200°C, gas mark 6, add the chopped parsnip and cook for 40-50 minutes or until golden and tender.