Parsnips are the best fall root. I am not kidding. They aren’t eaten raw, and they take a VERY LONG TIME to grow, so you don’t really eat them any other season except fall and winter, and with the onset of cold temperatures, their warm and inviting flavor is welcome. The flavor is sort of like carrots, but amped up and more subtle at the same time.
In season: Fall and winter.
Shelf life: In addition to loving on the parsnips for their flavor in the fall and winter, as a grower, I love them for their hardiness and keeping abilities. Parsnips are probably one of the hardiest vegetables we grow. They would be totally fine if we just let them out in the field all winter–we just wouldn’t really be able to harvest them! They keep really well in storage, and hold up great in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Just be sure to place them in a plastic bag if you plan on keeping them for a few weeks or more.
How to prep: The variety we grow produces a lot of little root shoots–I recommend plucking these off. Then scrub them well, or peel them with a vegetable peeler. Chop the tops off–similar to how you would treat a carrot. The trimmings can be kept for adding to stocks-parsnips smart a great early flavor.
Cook: Best when roasted, alone or with potatoes, or in a root vegetable medley; pairs nicely with apples; great in soups too; add to any recipe that call for a mix of roots!