We all like French fries, who are we trying to kid, but sometimes it is nice to mix it up a bit, and maybe be a bit healthier. Sure, we miss the days when we could go through the drive-thru and eat our favorite fast food fries, but really, homemade is so much tastier. These are baked and not fried.
If you have never had a parsnip before, think a carrot on steroids. They are a root vegetable, and located near the carrots or the turnips in the produce section. They look like a bigger carrot, but they are white, and a little tougher to cut. They have a nice sweet, earthly flavor. In addition to making parsnip fries, I also like mashing them with some potatoes for some extra pizazz!
I use parsley in this version, but feel free to play around, and add whatever you have around or in your garden. You can also leave off the parmesan for a vegan version.
These are pretty easy to pull together, and make a great side dish with just about anything. Last night, I served this with our Summery Pea Soup with Fresh Herbs.
Parmesan Parsnip Fries
2 lbs of parsnips, cleaned, peeled and sliced into "fries" (see photo above)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground sea salt (regular salt will do too)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat Italian parsley
Pre-heat oven to 425'
In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced parsnips with the olive oil, salt and pepper;
Place parsnips in a roasting pan, in a single layer;
Cook for 20 minutes;
Sprinkle the parmesan on the parsnips, toss the parsnips and cook for an additional 15 minutes or until done;
Take roasting pan from oven and sprinkle parsnips with chopped parsley, toss again;
Eat while warm. You won't even need ketchup!