Winter roots with a subtle sweetness - the parsnip

17.12.2021

12/17/2021 - (Source © lid.ch) - Parsnip is a classic winter vegetable, but it had to fight for its place in local kitchens: As a discontinued model, it has made an amazing comeback and is now back on trend.

In the Middle Ages, the starchy parsnip played a role that was just as important as the potato today. Up to the middle of the 18th century it was one of the most important staple foods in our latitudes due to its low susceptibility to disease.

But then it was increasingly replaced by potatoes and carrots - and in the end it was almost completely forgotten. In contrast to Switzerland, Austria and Germany, the vegetable remained popular in England, the USA, France, Holland, Scandinavia and Hungary over the decades.

The vegetable, which was underestimated for a long time, has regained its place on the local plates, as the cultivation figures show: While around 55 tons of parsnips were harvested on a good 5 hectares in 2010, Swiss vegetable producers harvested around 1 10 years later on over 40 hectares '100 tons of parsnips.

Under the earth

Like carrots or radishes, parsnips grow underground. The roots are white-yellow in color. The parsnip belongs to the umbelliferae family. This family affiliation can be clearly recognized in the flowering period from July to September by the double-gold inflorescences. Compared to other root vegetables, the parsnip is a real nutritional package. It contains, for example, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, calcium, potassium and zinc.

The parsnip has a fine sweetness and a slightly earthy-nutty taste. If the roots are only harvested after the first frost, they have an even milder aroma. They can be harvested fresh all winter on frost-free days and taste great as baked vegetables, gratin, raw in a salad or made into a fine soup. It is easy to digest and digestible, which is why it is often used for baby food. Their season begins in late autumn and lasts until around April.

Stocking:

Parsnips should be stored in a cool, dry place. They can be kept for up to four weeks in the refrigerator in kitchen paper or, even better, wrapped in slightly damp bamboo towels. For a longer shelf life, the parsnips must be blanched for three to four minutes and then frozen.

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