Here in South Jersey, spring is fighting to arrive early. My daffodils bloomed almost a week ago. That’s about a month earlier than they usually do. The birds are returning. I’m tempted to get out in my garden and start a little work, but if I look at the calendar, I know it’s still too early.


This mild weather is making me long for fresh garden vegetables, but they are still months away. Winter squashes and root vegetables are still about all there is available locally. Parsnips are one vegetable that’s easy to come by in February. They’re usually thought of as an addition to soups and stews, but there’s so much more that can be done with them.


  1. Kashmiri-Style Kidney Beans with Parsnips – Parsnips, chopped tomatoes, canned beans, and a ton of fresh and dried spices and herbs go into this vegetarian dish that’s sort of chili-like.
  2. Parsnip, Potato and Cumin Pancakes with Crème Fraîche and Chives – These little pancakes are like latkes but with the addition of parsnip and garlic. Sour cream would work just as well as crème fraîche as a topper.
  3. Poached Egg over Roasted Root Vegetables – Such a simple meal, but so nutritious. Parsnips and five other winter vegetables are roasted for an hour. When all the vegetables are all sweet and caramelized, they served with a poached egg on top for a pop of protein.
  4. Sweet Potato and Parsnip Gnocchi with Sage Lemon Butter Sauce – You’ll need a potato ricer to get the consistency of this recipe correct, but it’s worth it for the nutrition in these gnocchi made with whole wheat flour.
  5. Roasted Parsnip and Caramelized Onion Puree - Part puree, part hummus (of the Italian variety), and part dip, this puree has many uses. The parsnips and onions are pureed with cannellini beans, sour cream, milk, butter and more for a rich flavor.

What’s your favorite way to cook parsnips?

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Seasonal recipes: 5 for parsnips
This cousin to the carrot has a sweet, nutty flavor, and should be more than merely an addition to soups and stews.