Perfectly Roasted Parsnips

Last night, I made a delightful braised pork (photo up top, recipe coming soon!), and paired it with one of my favorite seasonal root vegetables: parsnips.  I love parsnips because they are sweet and slightly carrot-y in flavor and have a soft, potato-y texture when cooked right.  They are versatile enough to be added to soups and stews, or can be thrown on a sheet pan and roasted along other veggies as a delicious side.  They tend to show up at stores every fall/winter, and they make the weekly rotation in my house when they are in season.

Whenever I roasted parsnips in the past, I would normally prepare them by chopping them up in bite-sized bits, tossing in olive oil and salt, and then roasting straight on a baking tray at 350F until tender.  While this method does result in a roasted parsnip, they always come out of the oven a little, dare I say, chewy.  Dry roasting tends to dehydrate the parsnips as they roast, leaving the sweetness and flavor more concentrated while leaving the texture a little dried out and fibrous. 

Inspired by my braised pork recipe, I decided to create an oven-braise for my parsnips by adding a little liquid to the pan before roasting, and man did that move pay off.  I added ½ cup of liquid in the form of white wine and chicken broth, and covered the sheet tray with a top layer of foil to catch the steam as everything cooked.  The added liquid was enough to steam the parsnips as they roasted, thereby creating a beautifully soft, tender texture.  After all of the liquid evaporated, the bottoms of the parsnips caramelized perfectly on the bottom of the pan, resulting in a perfect, flavorful crust on the cut-side of the parsnip.  This recipe was a huge hit and revelation in my house, and I genuinely can’t wait to make this again!

Recipe down below, along with photos!  Adding a little bit of liquid can go a long way with your roasted parsnips, so give this method a try next time you make them!

Perfectly Roasted Parsnips

Ingredients:

  • 4 parsnips, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Wash and dry your parsnips thoroughly before preparing.  Once cleaned, use a knife to remove the tip (root end) and the top (stem end) by cutting across, cross-wise.  Stand the parsnip up on the flat surface of the stem end (the widest part of the parsnip), and carefully cut down the length of the parsnip to create two long halves.
  3. Brush the cut side of each parsnip with olive oil using a pastry brush (or your fingers).  Place the parsnips cut-side down on a foil-lined baking tray. 
  4. Once all of the parsnips are brushed and on the tray cut-side down, add the white wine and chicken stock to the tray (it will kind of run around everywhere on the tray – that’s fine, don’t try to contain it to the middle).  Sprinkle the parsnips with salt.
  5. Use another big sheet of foil to cover the whole tray, crimping at each end to secure the foil to the top of the pan.
  6. Place the baking tray in the oven, and bake at 375F for 45 minutes. 
  7. Once baked, remove the baking tray from the oven and remove the top layer of foil.  Carefully flip the parsnips while still warm to be sure the cut-side stays nice and caramelized and releases easily.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

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3 comments on “Perfectly Roasted Parsnips”

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