Do you enjoy an inadvertent, accidental, slap-happy discovery as much as I do? I bet you do.
A couple years ago I ate my first parsnip. I’d never eaten this white carrot-like root before and my first exposure was a very sweet experience. If memory serves, I was at a potluck dinner. As with most potlucks, the foods were many, varied, and tasty to be sure. But my memory retains only one. A freshly picked, roasted root vegetable medley of carrot, sweet potato, turnip, parsnip with a touch of cloves, grown and baked by a friend’s hands. It sounds yummy, and indeed it was. To my mind, it was the best part of the entire meal (including dessert) and when I asked whilst brandishing a forkful: “What are these white hunks of deliciousness?”, I was informed that they were parsnips. Aaaaah yes! The fabled parsnip. The root whose name conjures up something decidedly inedible. Well… if you haven’t yet tried them, let me assure you. Don’t let the name fool you. They are much much tastier than they sound.
Last year, I just had to plant some. So we did. We planted several. In fact, we planted more than several. And, of course, we didn’t eat them all nor did we harvest them all. We “forgot” a bunch in the ground… But they were having none of it. This spring I noticed little green shoots popping up from where they’d been last year. A few days ago my curiosity got the best of me. I needed to see what was underneath those shoots. Well, to my surprise there were gigantic (one specimen easily serves the three of us), fresh, sweet, scrummy parsnips buried ‘neath the soil. Which just goes to show: it’s impossible to ignore your roots…
I had no clue parsnips were biennial. But as I’ve discovered, they are! They survived our mild winter and came back for a second season. I’m so glad they did. More delicious treats for me!
Does anyone else have experience resurrecting parsnips?
FYI: Go HERE to learn how to grow your own parsnips. Notice the site labels them as a “bienniel grown as an annual”. I think we should be encouraged to grow them as both if we can, and take full advantage of this fresh, home-grown produce.