Sunday, 30 November 2014

Crocodile parsnip

That's not a parsnip!

That's not a parsnip either!

Now that's a parsnip....
Nearly 1.5kg of parsnip, actually. The variety is "Guernsey", I've been sowing successfully from the same packet for three years, which is meant to be impossible (always use fresh seed for parsnips, "they say") and despite our extremely stony soil, few of them are forked. This is the same batch that appeared in a post of  April 2013. Despite their size, they are not woody, except where those side roots join in. Just sweet and delicious.

In France, panais tends to be somewhat looked down upon, as a humdrum dish for starving peasants, but lately they have come back into fashion. So far we have made an excellent sausage and bean hotpot covered with slices of parsnip, potato and carrot; a parsnip and pumpkin soup, with Sweet Dumpling and Gold Nugget squash; and a roasted vegetable accompaniment to a roast chicken (thanks Gaynor and Tim, it was meaty).

The big one remains, challenging and taunting us. We'll put him in a sand box in the barn to keep him moist and juicy until we're ready to eat him. There's another sowing for Christmas... and the chicken we called Marion Morrison is turning out to be John Wayne...

4 comments:

GaynorB said...

That IS a parsnip! I love spicy parsnip soup.

Glad you enjoyed the chicken.

Betty C. said...

My grandmother, who grew up "dirt poor" in the American south, could never eat parsnip again later in life because of her associations with it as a food for hard times.

Tim said...

That's understandable, Betty, if you're eating parsnips every day you'll get pretty sick of them.

Kev Alviti said...

That's a proper parsnip! I gave some to a friend and she joked that the recipe said to use four but one of mine would do it with left overs! I got really big roots by station sowing last year.