A Panier Improv That Worked

5 02 2009

I was very excited last week when we got two HUGE parsnips in our CSA panier

Tasty winter produce

I had never once tasted a parsnip before I spent Christmas in England a few years back, but it was love at first bite.  Roasted crisp with carrots and potatoes, I loved their crunchy caramelized outsides and subtly sweet, tender insides.  I am such a fan of roasted parsnips that I have rarely strayed from the straightforward recipe I first fell in love with.

But the panier encourages experimentation.  Ever since we started getting it, we’ve been long on apples.  It’s a different kind every week, from sweet goldens to the tart, perfectly-sized-to-fit-in-your-palm snacking apples we got yesterday.  But still, that’s a lot of apples.  I’m trying to come up with new ways to use them, so when I got out the parsnips and noticed the giant (we’re talking softball-sized) apples reposing next to them, I thought, why not?

And a new favorite Winter side dish was born.

Roast Parsnips and Apples


This is a delicious, simple side dish that is fantastic with roast chicken.  For something a little more substantial, you could make it into a gratin by crumbling some blue cheese on top after the parsnip is tender, and baking until the cheese has melted a bit.  A little bacon in there would definitely not suck.


2 very large parsnips (or about 4-5 medium or 6-8 small)

1 large apple

Leaves picked from one stem of rosemary

Coarse sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F.
  2. Peel the parsnips and cut into bite-size pieces.  Dice the apple, but don’t worry about peeling it.
  3. Spread the parsnips evenly on a baking sheet or in a small roasting pan.  Season with salt, pepper, and rosemary.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. 
  4. Roast for 20 minutes, then add the apple and stir.  Continue roasting another 20-25 minutes, until the parsnip is tender and beginning to brown at the edges.  Serve hot.


Serves 2 hungry people as a side dish.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




4 responses

6 02 2009

I second your feeling about roasted parsnips. We discovered them last year and became quickly enamored. The parsnip-apple pair sounds perfect, and I never would have thought to put them together.

6 02 2009

Oh good, this gives me ideas for variation too! I usually roast the parsnips with a little olive oil and then drizzle honey on them. I like the idea of adding an apple (with the advantage of using up the apples!) and blue cheese would be interesting too!

8 02 2009

That sounds delicious – especially with the blue cheese to offset the sweetness. And, I’ve decided that I am going to borrow “that would definitely not suck” for my vocabulary every once in a while… It pretty much gets the point across. Thanks for making me smile, as usual!

9 02 2009

Trisha – I don’t understand how anyone could NOT like parsnips. 🙂

Hopie – Yum, honey sounds good. I never think of it on my own, but it does very nice things with root vegetables.

Lissa – The literary term for that, in French, is la litote. It refers to making understatements in order to get your much stronger point across. Yes, I am a huge nerd.

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