Two springs ago I planted parsnip seeds in the garden, hoping for a good harvest of parsnips in the autumn, but that first year was disappointing with only one pitiful parsnip to show for it. Not deterred, I tried again last spring, planting in a different location and found that the parsnips were much happier. They liked the extra warmth of the sunnier spot, the deeper soil, and extra compost we added to the bed, and they thrived. We had plenty to roast in the late autumn and plenty to test for overwintering in the bed. Yes, I learned that you can indeed leave parsnips in the ground during the winter and pull them out as you need them, just make sure you mark off where they are and keep them covered with a few inches of soil. They actually got sweeter with successive frosts.
So when I pulled the last of the parsnips earlier this week I decided to make a little snack, some healthy chips which can go with sandwiches, soup, or a party appetizer. They are super easy, just slice the parsnips thin on the diagonal and toss them with a little olive oil and some kosher salt and your favorite spices, then bake in the oven. That’s it, just a little work and no messy frying. And for the record, Michael is particularly fond of the Cajun parsnip chips.
So if you still have some parsnips hanging around in your garden, or if your neighbor does, give this a try. It might just convince you to plant more parsnips this year.
SPICY OVEN-FRIED PARSNIP CHIPS
Serves 2 to 4.
baking sheet, lined with foil
4 parsnips, scrubbed clean, sliced thin on the diagonal
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 3 teaspoons spice mix, to taste
Cajun spice mix
1. Place the oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C.
2. In the medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, kosher salt, and your chosen spice mix. Toss with the sliced parsnips, then lay the parsnip slices on the prepared baking sheet, spreading them out.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until chips are golden brown and crispy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Removed from the oven and transfer chips to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain, then serve.