Thursday, November 25, 2010

Parsnip Fritters

Every sort of culinary vegetable is much better when freshly gathered and cooked as soon as possible, and , when done, thoroughly drained, and served immediately while hot. ~White House Cook Book: A Selection of Choice Recipes Original and Selected, During a Period of Forty Years' Practical Housekeeping, by Mrs. F. L. Gilette [1887].

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IMG_4648.jpg picture by seshet27

Parsnip Fritters
Boil four or five parsnips; when tender take off the skin and mash them fine; add to them a teaspoonful of wheat flour and a beaten egg; put a tablespoonful of lard or beef drippings in a frying-pan over the fire, add to it a saltspoonful of salt; when boiling hot put in the parsnips; make it in small cakes with a spoon; when one side is a delicate brown turn the other; when both are done take them on a dish, put a very little of the fat in which they were fried over and serve hot. These resemble very nearly the taste of the salsify or oyster plant, and will generally be preferred.

IMG_4652.jpg picture by seshet27

Verdict: Parsnips look like white carrots, and taste like either carroty potatoes or potatoey carrots. These smelled great when they cooked! Husband sneaky snuck in and nabbed one in the midst of picture taking, so tasty did they smell. The taste, however, was just kind of fine. They tasted exactly like the fried combination of potatoes and carrots. I cannot say how it compares to salsify, however, as I haven't been able to find any salsify.

Salsify is a root vegetable which used to be popular, and apparently tastes like oysters. Thus, it was used to make mock oyster stew a lot. Many more root vegetables used to be popular, actually. Now we're basically down to potatoes, carrots, and onions. Possibly beets, as well. When is the last time you ate salsify, parsnips, rutabagas, Jerusalem artichokes, or turnips?

I figure that when the only vegetables you eat during the winter are those you can store in your root cellar, you want to grow as much of a variety as you can. Since we can get pretty much any vegetable any time we want, a wide variety of root vegetables is no longer a priority.


Diamond said...

We just had roasted beets, rutabagas and turnips last week. It was my first time to try these. They were really good! We have been missing out.

Bethany said...

I ate Turnips this summer and canned a lot of beets.

Jana said...

Way to go, guys!

Jenny Jo said...

I eat parsnips regularly, because I love them. They are great with butter and dill! They can be a little hard to find nice and fresh, and the flavor varies a lot with the size, small ones being sweeter and nicer.

The other secretly great root vegetable is celery root/celeriac. Great mashed with potatoes, or in pot pie.

Jana said...

Nice! My feeling that readers of my blog are above average is reinforced! :D

Nonna said...

I love to eat carrots and parsnips together with lots of melted butter and toss in a little brown sugar. Rutabagas,turnips, carrots and parsnips ( in stews or alone ) and beets ( pickled ) were regular staples at my Nana's house. Never thought of frying them before...interesting. Your Hubs is a good sport and just for the record, I'm glad you couldn't find that vegetable that tastes like oysters ( Yucky )

Jana said...

Is there anything butter cannot make delicious? Answer: no.

Kristin said...

Butter cannot make tofu spinach loaf delicious.

Also- I now want to try parsnips. Can you buy them at the grocery store?
Are they with the other random things on the top shelf of the produce section?

Kathleen said...

That's exactly where they are, Kristin.
Also, for vegetable fear factor with the cub scouts, turnips made the list. They liked them. :)

Heavenly said...

I've had and enjoyed Jerusalem artichokes in my past, but they're kind of hard to find. You have to have an "in" with a gardener who grows them. Or, grow them yourself I guess. LOL

Jana said...

Kristin: It can if you pour it on the tofu spinach loaf, for then, the loaf will be well-lubricated and will slide with greater ease into the garbage. And yes, I believe Kathleen is right. Just look for what appears to be a white carrot.

Kathleen: Way to go, cub scouts!

Celeste: Really? How are they?

Beth said...

Turnips are my all-time favorite root vegetable!!! Beets, not so much.

Jana said...

That is an uncommon favorite vegetable!

Sunny S. said...

Your blog is awesome... I have a feeling I'm about to waste (?) a bunch of time going back and reading the entire thing!

I grew up with turnips and parsnips and root veggies galore, but I'm from the deep south and my family has always had a large garden. I can find just about anything I look for nowadays either at my local farmer's market, Whole Foods, H Mart (big Korean market), or one of the many ethnic grocery stores in the area. There are definitely advantages to living in DC!

... back to nosing through all your posts!

Jana said...

Welcome, Sunny! I love specialty markets. You never know what you can find!