Our kitchen garden cook shares some of her favourite recipes with parsnips.
These hardy little roots see us through the cold months and even add a generous dose of sweetness. They can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes, but, here, we focus on a little twist on a classic fry-up.
The full English breakfast with savoury parsnip-topped muffins (serves 4)
Splash of olive oil
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
2 egg yolks
200g grated courgette
3 organic eggs
2 rashers smoked bacon, diced
1 red onion, diced
60g wholemeal flour
Preheat your oven to 220 ̊C/425 ̊F/gas mark 7. Peel the parsnips and, on a baking tray, drizzle them with olive oil, scatter the herbs over them and roast until tender. Remove from the oven, discard the herbs and put the parsnips into a bowl. Add the egg yolks and seasoning and use a stick blender to blitz into a purée. If needed, add extra olive oil. Decant the mash into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
In a large bowl, combine the grated courgette and beaten eggs. Fry the bacon until cooked, sweat the red onion until soft and add both to the bowl. Mix well, add the flour and season. Grease a muffin tin generously with olive oil and spoon in the mixture. Bake for about 15–18 minutes until gently browned with neat, domed tops.
Remove the tray from the oven and use a palette knife to get the muffins out of the tin. Pipe the mash on top in a swirl and then return to the oven for 8–10 minutes.
Prepare your usual fry-up (mine is fried eggs, bacon, sausages, thyme-roasted mushrooms and vine-roasted tomatoes) and serve these protein-rich savoury muffins on the side.
More ways with parsnips
Creamy parsnip soup with red Camargue rice and caramelised rosemary onions
Peel 500g parsnips and cut into even-sized pieces. In a saucepan, add a chopped onion and seasoning to the parsnips and cover with chicken stock. Simmer until tender and then blitz with a stick blender and add a generous splash of cream. Meanwhile, cook a cup of red Camargue rice. Cut an onion into rings and fry with a spoonful of brown sugar and a sprig of rosemary. Cook until gently browned. To serve, spoon the rice into bowls, ladle the soup over it and top with the onion rings.
Whole maple-roasted parsnips wrapped in bacon
Stand 10 large parsnips in a saucepan of salted boiling water, making sure they fit snugly with their wider ends submerged. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and wrap each one with a rasher of bacon and place in a roasting tray. Drizzle with maple syrup and scatter a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme over them before roasting in a hot oven for about 35 minutes, or until tender. Serve with your Sunday roast.
Chicken-and-parsnip tray bake
In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon grainy mustard, juice and zest of a lemon, 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 300ml chicken stock. Pour this marinade over chicken pieces, roughly chopped onions and peeled parsnips in a roasting tray. Roast for about 40 minutes or until juices run clear from the chicken. Scatter with fresh chopped parsley and serve with wholegrain rice.