Devilled parsnip fritters

One for people who think they don’t like parsnips – the crunchy overcoat of mustard and crumbs will change their minds.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4-6 as a starter or side


3 medium parsnips, peeled
2½ tbsp dijon mustard
8 tbsp mayonnaise
½ tsp cayenne pepper, plus a pinch extra
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 thyme sprigs, leaves finely chopped
1½ tbsp plain flour
1 tsp flaky sea salt, plus extra to sprinkle
2 eggs, beaten
100g panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for frying


1. Cut the parsnips into tapering fingers about 8cm long and 1cm wide at their fattest end. Steam for 10-12 minutes, until soft all the way through but still holding their shape. Remove and set aside.

2. Mix 1 tbsp mustard with the mayonnaise until combined. Sprinkle with the pinch of cayenne, cover and chill. In a mixing bowl, stir together the remaining 1½ tbsp mustard with the garlic and thyme leaves. Gently fold the parsnips through the mixture until coated.

3. Spread the flour on a plate and season with the ½ tsp cayenne and salt. Put the eggs on a second plate and the panko on a third. In batches, toss the parsnips in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip first in the egg, then the panko, ensuring they are well coated.

4. Pour a 1cm depth of oil into a solid frying pan and heat to 180°C (a cube of bread should brown in 40 seconds), or use a deep-fat fryer. Cook the parsnip fingers, in batches, for 30-40 seconds on each side, or until crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, dust with salt, then serve warm with the mustard mayo.