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Passion for Parsnips

Posted by: on Apr 11, 2013

Almost all roots we harvest in the fall for storage to eat and sell as long through the winter as we can. Except parsnips. Well, we harvest some in the fall to enjoy all winter. But we save some. We save them in the ground. They freeze in there with the dirt all winter. And now, this time of year, we dig them up.

Why? The long freeze of winter brings out in them a wonderful sweetness of flavor, beyond that of those harvested in the fall. It’s a spring treasure. A little hoard we had hidden away.

A truckload of spring dug parsnipsWe had to be patient this year and wait until the late snows melted and the ground came unfrozen. We waited and here they are – the Spring Dug Parsnips! We love them here at the farm.

Early on, when I was falling for my farmer husband Ryan, I wrote a little song for him for his birthday. The refrain goes like this…

“Passion for parsnips and radio listenin’,
fresh salad in a muddy kitchen,
raw lips from too much kissin’,
O, no, there’s nothin missin!”

You should have tasted the excellent breakfast parsnips Ryan made that inspired that one. Maple syrup, walnuts, raisins, parsnips all in a skillet.

For little Wally, I now make parsnip puree. We boil the parsnips until soft, then put them in the food processor with a little of the boiling water, some butter and a pinch of salt. Puree and eat! One bite for me and one bite for Wally is how they go down.

Spring-dug parsnips are a seasonal delicacy, gaining in sweetness from the cold winter in the ground.Roasted Spring-Dug Parsnips

Chop into sticks, coat with olive oil and a little soy sauce, salt and pepper. Bake in the oven at 400. Stir after a half hour. When cooked-through and lightly browned, remove and serve.

A few more recipe links….
Raw Parsnip Winter Salad
Parsnip Coconut Rice

You can find our Spring Dug Parsnips at the Winter Farmers Markets on Saturdays. Though not listed on our website, we are at the Northampton Winter Market on April 13 and April 20th. We may have some also for sale when the Granby and Montague Farm Stands open on April 27th, 2013.

Thanks for reading!

~Sarah Voiland
Red Fire Farm