Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Vegetables

Cooking With Parsnips (page 2 of 2)

by William Woys Weaver

Parsnip Muffins

Parsnip Muffins

This adaptation of an 1840s Philadelphia recipe is made on the same principle as potato bread. Parsnip breads, with their light texture, were popular in colonial America.

  • 1 small parsnip (about 4 oz.)
  • 1-1/3 cups warm milk (110° F)
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Peel and coarsely chop parsnip. Put it in a small pan with enough water to cover, and boil until very soft, about 25 minutes. Drain and place parsnip in a blender or food processor with milk. Puree until smooth and creamy, then add yeast. Pour mixture into a bowl and let it stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk.

To the parsnip mixture add melted butter or oil, salt, and 4 cups of flour. Work this into a sticky dough, then add the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Knead dough until light and pliant, 5 to 10 minutes; cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 375° F. Butter 24 muffin cups (2-1/2-in. size). Knead the dough lightly. Form into 24 equal-sized balls and set them into muffin cups. Cover and let rise in a warm place, about 15 minutes. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. For a crisp crust, brush muffins with ice water as soon as they come from the oven. Serve warm. Makes 2 dozen muffins.

Eggless Lemon Curd

Old-fashioned lemon curd is made with a great many eggs. This tasty creation uses parsnips instead, and National Gardening editors thought it tasted even better than the traditional recipe. Use it as a spread on parsnip muffins or as a cake filling.

  • 1 pound parsnips
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Peel and chop parsnips. Place in a 2-quart pan with enough water to cover, and boil until soft, about 25 minutes. Remove parsnips from the cooking liquid; reserve about 1 cup of the liquid. Puree parsnips in a blender or food processor. If parsnips are too dry, add some of the cooking liquid. The puree should resemble mashed potatoes.

Put puree into a clean pan with sugar, butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking from time to time, until thick and glossy, about 20 minutes. Pour into a clean glass container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. For best flavor, serve at room temperature. Makes about 3 cups.

William Woys Weaver raises more than 2,000 varieties of heirloom vegetables at his home in Pennsylvania.

Photography by Andre Baranowski

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