Root Vegetable Pop Quiz:

Parsnips are to carrots as Mr. Furley is to:

  • a. Chrissy Snow
  • b. Mr. Roper
  • c. Andy Griffith
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Not as easy as you thought it was going to be, is it?

The correct answer is: b. Mr Roper.

furley carrot

Most folks think of parsnips (Furley) as some sort of carrot (Roper) replacement.  They’re both roughly the same shape. Play kinda the same role. Are surprisingly sweet under their weathered exteriors. People don’t appreciate parsnips as much as carrots because carrots came first into most of our lives. They were a childhood staple. Parsnips are interlopers, doomed to live forever live in carrots’ shadow.

When boiled to death in stews and braises, (humanely pausing the Furley/Roper now,) carrots and parsnips taste much the same. But when roasted…well…it’s time for a total script rewrite. While carrots remain essentially carrots after roasting, parsnips are transformed into Emmy-winning, studio audience-awwww-ing, lead actors in a comedy or mini-series. They’re equally sweet and spicy. Earthy candy. Mr. Furley wins, hands down.

Parsnips are tasty enough simply roasted with olive oil and salt. But adding a little acid to parsnips adds a level of complexity. Follow along with our step-by-step photos as we prepare our roasted parsnips with a blood orange glaze. (Full recipe at bottom of post.) And if you’d like to continue the debate about why Mr. Furley is better than Mr. Roper, please argue amongst yourselves in the comment section.

First, you’ll need about a pound of parnsips. You can usually find parsnips either loose or in 1b bags in your produce section. They should be firm and stiff…only slightly more flexible than carrots.

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Peel them as you would carrots, and chop them into 2 inch lengths. Further slice the thicker lengths until all are roughly equal size and thickness.

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Chop 2 slices of bacon into 1 inch pieces. (If you prefer vegetarian, skip bacon and add olive oil before roasting.)

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Combine parsnip and bacon pieces in a small baking pan. Stir them around a bit so that some of the bacon fat rubs onto the bacon. Sprinkle with coarse salt, and place in 400F oven.
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While parsnips are roasting, squeeze the juice from 2-3 blood oranges.  Pop quiz…Blood oranges are to navel oranges as Mrs. Roper is to…
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Answer: Lana Shields, of course. Duh.

Simmer the orange juice, vinegar and coriander until reduced by half.

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Once parsnips and bacon are fully roasted and nicely browned, simply add them to the pan of glaze.

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Stir until parsnips are fully dressed. Unlike Chrissy Snow in most episodes.

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Serve immediately…hot, sweet & glazed. *Studio Applause* (Just don’t let Janet overhear you describing it through the kitchen door. Misunderstandings & 28 minutes of hi jinx will follow.)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh parsnips, peeled and cut into 2″ x ½” sticks.
  • 2 strips bacon, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup blood orange juice (can substitute regular orange juice)
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar

Additional Information

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 35m

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F. Toss bacon and parsnip pieces together and spread on non-stick baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes until browned, stirring halfway through to prevent burning. Parsnips should be softened completely through.

While parsnips are roasting, combine orange juice, vinegar & coriander in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer until reduced by half, approx 3-5 minutes. (Check often to prevent from burning.)

Transfer roasted parsnips and bacon pieces to saucepan with glaze. Toss to coat completely and serve immediately.

by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

Reader Comments

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Joanne Martin

My fav way to prepare parsnips is to take equal amounts of carrots and parsnips…peel and cut into sticks. I boil them (carrots first as they tend to take longer, then add the ‘snips). After they are just shy of tender I add them to a fry pan with melted butter. Brown them up and just before they are done add brown sugar and stir. Plate up and add S&P to taste… Deelish!

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Helen Salfen

Question…half a “what” of coriander? Your recipe does not state. W Looking forward to making this!

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Sandy S.

Thanks to you and this post, I finally tried parsnips for the first time. I actually sautéed them with carrots and jerusalem artichokes and LOVED them! I actually liked them better than the carrots. They were a bit sweeter and even took less time to cook. Thanks for another great introduction to yummy things!

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Margaret Miller

Well, I’m on a soft diet thanks to stumbling and breaking my jaw three weeks ago. BUT when I get these braces off and these two extracted teeth replaced, THESE are the first thing I’m gonna cook! Meanwhile I’m salivating over the photos. Thanks Beekman Boys.

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Lorrie A. Smith

Bravo! Parsnips, in my book, wins over carrots! I love roasted veggies. My favorite to roast in a medley are: Purple potatoes (or fingerling potatoes), beets, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, red onion chunks, fingerling carrots, and Brussels sprouts. A little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper and wa-la! So sweet! Just like eating a plate full of candy from heaven.

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Kira Z.

I can not wait to try this! I am a huge parsnip fan and always trying to convert the skeptical. This will definitely do the trick.

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