How to Prepare Parsnips
Parsnips are almost always cooked as they tend to be quite fibrous compared to carrots or potatoes. Do not overcook them. Their flavour is sweetest when they are just tender and this also helps to preserve nutrients which are usually found just beneath the skin.
Cut off the root and leaf ends, like carrots. Trim any major rootlets or knobs. Either scrub or peel, thinly. Parsnips can also be cooked skin on and peeled after cooking. The fibrous woody centre, in larger parsnips can be removed.
When cutting into chunks to cook in soup, it’s better to peel as thinly as possible and cut into coins, cubes or julienne strips.
If cooking whole to puree later, then it’s better to cook skin on and peel after cooking as it preserves colour and the valuable nutrients, found beneath the skin.
Tip: always save the cooking liquid for making sauce, stock or soup.
How to Cook Parsnips
Steaming is the best way to cook parsnips. It brings out their sweetness without turning them mushy. Place trimmed, well scrubbed whole or cut parsnips in a steamer and cook over boiling water.
or place the parsnips skin on in a saucepan with ½ inch boiling water and simmer, covered, until just tender. Let the parsnips cool briefly and then peel.
Cooking Time: whole parsnips 30-40 minutes, Cut parsnips 5-15 minutes
How to Bake Parsnips
Bake at 350°F (160°C) for 20-30 minutes
Place whole or cut parsnips in baking dish with a cover, add a little water, stock (broth), or juice like orange or apple, and seasoning of your choice and bake.
You can also parboil for 5 minutes before baking in a little water or orange or apple juice.
Alternatives for seasoning includes: brown sugar, ginger, nutmeg, or herbs of your choice, depending on the liquid used.
Tip: Do not throw away the cooking liquid.
How to Boil Parsnips
Place whole or cut parsnips in a pan of boiling water and simmer until just tender (5-15 minutes)
How to Microwave Parsnips
Cut parsnips into large chunks and place in a microwavable dish with 2 tablespoons liquid. Cover and cook 4-6 minutes or until tender.