Monday, September 30, 2013
This recipe stems from the root veggie parade that wraps up the growing season. Never a fan of roots in the past, with a little practice they have slipped their way up as some of my very favorite foods, parsnip chips ranking near the top.
[RIGHT ON PAR]
If you've never had a parsnip you really are in for a treat. Parsnips look like their carrot cousin but are a bit more mature, hosting a sweeter, nuttier flavor. And they come at just the right time. The most effective way to warm the body is from the inside out, something these and other root vegetables are amazingly good at. As the air gets cooler and damper, the warming properties of parsnips help resolve these conditions in our bodies. They're a good source of calcium, vitamin A and C, and potassium and are relatively high in silicon and fiber [the insoluble kind].
So, get these in the oven, grab a cup of tea and a really good book or the family, some friends, and a picnic basket, and take in every single ounce of this season. Play outside as much as possible. Try your hand at apple or pear sauce [it's too easy not to!], eat a salad [like twice a day because soon you'll salivate at the thought of fresh greens], and carve a pumpkin. Walk through the woods or around the block. Sit by a campfire. Light your favorite fall-scented candle. Decorate with mums and gourds and corn and hay. Most of all forget that winter is around the corner and simply enjoy what is right now - beauty everywhere.
3 - 4 large parsnips, scrubbed and cut into very thin slices*
extra virgin olive oil
spice blend of choice [I really like equal parts black pepper, onion powder, paprika; 1/2 parts garlic powder and turmeric; and a dash or so ground rosemary, ground thyme, ground basil]
Place cut parsnips on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle a couple tablespoons worth of olive oil over the parsnips and sprinkle a teaspoon or so of salt and a teaspoon or so of spice blend. Toss well until parsnips are thoroughly coated, adding more oil, salt, and spice as needed. Test a chip and adjust flavors accordingly.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place baking sheet in oven and bake for anywhere from 15 - 30 minutes. You'll want to watch them closely because baking time will vary depending on parsnip slice thickness.
When they are golden brown [not dark brown or black] and crispy, remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Enjoy plain or with your dip!
*When I purchase organically I tend to not peel parsnips, carrots, beets, etc. and opt to scrub them really well instead. Many essential nutrients lie just beneath the peel and most peelers remove those nutrients with the peel.