Spring is parsnip season, the spicy-sweet root vegetable that looks like a plump pale yellow carrot. My favorite way to cook them is to cut them into sticks, slick them with olive oil or melted butter and roasted them to make Parsnip Fries. I learned the dead-simple technique from Anne Disrude, one of the best cooks I know. She serves her fries with cocktails before dinner. They are also great as a French fry-ish side-dish with roasts and grilled beef or duck steak. The are perfect to make in late spring, early summer when it’s still cool enough to have the oven on.
Recipe: Parsnip Fries
3 pounds medium parsnip
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, melted butter or rendered bacon fat
Kosher or flaky sea salt
Place rack in upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375’. Peel the parsnips and cut into 4-by-1/3-inch sticks; if the core is very thick and woody, cut it out.
Place the parsnip sticks in a bowl and toss to coat with oil. Spread them in a single layer on one or two large baking sheets, making sure they don’t stick together. Roast the parsnips, tossing once or twice, until tender and browned in spots about 1 hour.
Sprinkle with salt, transfer to a platter and serve at once.
Spring parsnips, pared and roasted…
…will look something like this…