Parsnips are my all-time favourite root vegetable, which makes them ideal for roasting. Their sweet earthy flavour and firm texture are complemented with just a hint of delicious sharpness. My kids call them ‘white carrots’ and love when Dad fills up Half Their Plate with their tasty goodness.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 with leftovers
For the Parsnips
3 lbs. (1.36 kg) of parsnips, peeled, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces
3 tablespoons (45 mL) of olive or vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) of sea salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
For the Pesto
1 cup (240 mL) of pumpkin seeds
1 bunch of green onions (7 or 8 stalks)
1/4 cup (60 mL) of your very best olive oil
2 to 3 ounces (56 to 85 g) of authentic Parmesan cheese
Prepare and preheat your oven to 375°. Turn on your convection fan if you have one.
Begin with the parsnips. Toss them with the oil, salt and pepper until they’re evenly seasoned. Transfer the works to a casserole dish or small roasting or baking pan. Roast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and delicious, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile make the pesto. Measure the ingredients into your food processor and process until a smooth yet slightly chunky pesto emerges.
When the parsnips are done roasting stir or toss in the pesto until evenly mixed.
Serve and share!
© Chef Michael Smith 2016 – #HalfYourPlate
Parsnips are often irregularly shaped. They taper considerably which means you’ll end up with a variety of shapes as you cut them down to bite-size. Try lopping off the narrow end once or twice before halving the remaining thicker end. Continue with a few more cuts than, if you need to, halve the remainder once again. Don’t worry about the results; as long as you can fit the chunks in your mouth you’ve done it the right way!
Rhubarb chutney is a tasty condiment side-kick for whatever hits your grill this season. Meat, fish or fowl – even grilled veggie burgers – get a big bright boost from this balanced classic. Rhubarb’s sour tang is mellowed with sweetness, fragrant spices and spicy heat in this make-ahead topping. You can perk up more than Half Your Plate with this fragrant chutney!