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Parsnips


Storage

Store unwashed parsnips in a cool dark place as you would carrots. Wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, they should last up to two weeks, if not longer.
Cooked parsnips can be refrigerated and used within three days.

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Origins and Culture

The wild parsnip has long been known in most of Europe, where it grows in chalky soil along the roadsides and around the edge of cultivated fields. Parsnips, like carrots, have been cultivated since ancient times - the Roman emperor Tiberius had fresh parsnips brought all the way from the banks of the River Rhine to Rome.

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Nutritional and Medicinal Properties

Parsnips contain 23% of the recommended daily allowance for Folacin and 17% for vitamin C. They also contain smaller amounts of vitamin E, fiber and magnesium. Although parsnips are from the same family as carrots, they do not have beta-carotene.

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How it is grown and when it is in season

Parsnips grow well in northern climates, becoming sweeter as the ground gets colder. Farmers like to leave them in the ground as long as possible without waiting too long, as they are hard to harvest once the ground becomes solidly frozen. Late in the fall, much of the flavor compounds of the parsnip are to be found under the skin, and this is why many recipes call for parsnips to remain unpeeled.

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Basic Cooking Instructions

Parsnips combine the sweetness of carrots with the starchiness of potatoes, and add their own nutty flavour, especially when roasted or glazed. Parsnips are great with other root vegetables roasted or baked and in soups or stews. You might also want to try adding parsnips to sweeten hearty greens such as kale or chard. And, as with many root vegetables, parsnips bake nicely, especially if garnished with spices such as cumin, cardomon, coriander, and ginger.
If you come across a parsnip that is more than an inch in diameter at the top end, you may want to core it, to avoid gristly and fibrous bits. To core, divide the narrow tapered end from the bulky top end and halve the top end lengthwise (as directed in the recipe). Using a paring knife, remove the core by carefully cutting a V-shaped channel down the center of the parsnip.

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