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Maple-Roast Parsnips

by . Featured in NIGELLA CHRISTMAS
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Introduction

I’ve always roasted honeyed parsnips alongside a turkey but as a marker of the culinary special relationship celebrated at Christmas, I’ve remodelled slightly, adding intensity of sweetness to the already sweet parsnips, not with honey but with maple syrup. And actually, this is more than a change, it’s an improvement: there is more ambiguity about the maple syrup, it’s a sweetness less cloying.

I’ve always roasted honeyed parsnips alongside a turkey but as a marker of the culinary special relationship celebrated at Christmas, I’ve remodelled slightly, adding intensity of sweetness to the already sweet parsnips, not with honey but with maple syrup. And actually, this is more than a change, it’s an improvement: there is more ambiguity about the maple syrup, it’s a sweetness less cloying.

Maple-Roast Parsnips
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Serves: 8-10

Metric Cups
  • 1 kilogram parsnips
  • 125 millilitres vegetable oil
  • 80 millilitres maple syrup
  • 2 pounds parsnips
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup

Method

  1. It seems foolish to say ‘preheat the oven’, when it’s frankly going to be on anyway, but if you were cooking this to go alongside – say – some cold, leftover turkey, when it would be just as good as first time around, then you need a hottish oven, say gas mark 6/200°C/400ºF, and the parsnips would need around 35 minutes in it. But if you’ve got the oven on very hot because of the roast potatoes, then you are better off parboiling the parsnips so that they need less time actually in the oven; 15 minutes should be enough to turn them chewy and maple-bronzed.
  2. So, peel the parsnips and halve them crosswise, then halve or quarter each piece lengthwise, so that you have a bundle of spindly shards.
  3. Either blanch these fawn coloured twigs in salted boiling water for 3 or so minutes, or just put them straight into a roasting tin, pour over the oil, smoosh them about and then dribble over the maple syrup and roast until tender and stickily brown. Be careful as you taste to test: the sugar content of the parsnips, more even than the syrup, make these blisteringly hot.
  1. It seems foolish to say ‘preheat the oven’, when it’s frankly going to be on anyway, but if you were cooking this to go alongside – say – some cold, leftover turkey, when it would be just as good as first time around, then you need a hottish oven, say gas mark 6/200°C/400ºF, and the parsnips would need around 35 minutes in it. But if you’ve got the oven on very hot because of the roast potatoes, then you are better off parboiling the parsnips so that they need less time actually in the oven; 15 minutes should be enough to turn them chewy and maple-bronzed.
  2. So, peel the parsnips and halve them crosswise, then halve or quarter each piece lengthwise, so that you have a bundle of spindly shards.
  3. Either blanch these fawn coloured twigs in salted boiling water for 3 or so minutes, or just put them straight into a roasting tin, pour over the oil, smoosh them about and then dribble over the maple syrup and roast until tender and stickily brown. Be careful as you taste to test: the sugar content of the parsnips, more even than the syrup, make these blisteringly hot.

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What 1 Other has said

  • I used to roast my parsnips in honey but am so glad I gave maple syrup a go; it lends a delicious smokiness to the flavour of the parsnips rather than the pure sweetness provided by honey. Delicious!

    Posted by Sandyann64 on 12th December 2012
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