I know I’ve said this before, but the main reason why I love our CSA (and why I miss it dearly during the off-season months) is how it introduces us to new produce that I probably wouldn’t buy on my own.
Take parsnips for instance. They don’t stand out to me when I’m produce shopping. They’re not exciting looking like an artichoke. They’re not flirty like purple carrots. They’re just another root vegetable… like turnips… and frankly, I ain’t buying those any time soon.
But my attitude changes when I open a CSA box and find a bunch of parsnips. They stand out. They’re the stars of the show because they’re not part of my usual repertoire and become a fun challenge to figure out.
In this case, the challenge was met by braising my parsnips in butter and glazing them with a good measure of honey and chili powder. The white parsnips took on a golden color as they got tender in the melted butter then turned a light orange from the chili powder. Their normally sweet but vegetal flavor turned smokey yet floral. With this side dish in the back of my mind, maybe parsnips might stand out a little more when I see them in the store.
- 5-6 medium parsnips, well scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch thick sticks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- juice of half a lime
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium skillet. Add the parsnips and cook, stirring occasionally until parsnips are shiny and soften a little, about 7-8 minutes. Add lime juice and honey and stir until honey melts. Add the water then cover the pan and cook for another 10 minutes or until parsnips are tender but still firm in the center. Stir in chili powder and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.
CSA Count: 2