Lemon + Thyme Roasted Parsnips

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One of my goals for 2012 is to cook with vegetables I may have never tried or simply overlooked in the past. We eat something green and vegetal on a daily basis, but I want to expand beyond our usual broccoli/spinach love. I decided to start with this recipe for roasted parsnip strips from Donna Hay.

I’ve adapted the original recipe a little–using regular thyme and a bit of lemon zest in lieu of lemon-thyme. I also nixed the cheese (more of an absent-minded mistake, rather than a conscious decision) and tossed the strips in olive oil instead of butter. After roasting, the strips become crisp along the thinnest edges and sweetly caramelized. To me, parsnips flavor is reminiscent of a carrot with a bit of a peppery edge. I’m actually not the biggest fan of carrots, so I was a little wary of the humble parsnip, but this preparation has definitely converted me. I love a roasty-crisp root vegetable and these are definitely a new favorite.

Lemon-Thyme Roasted Parsnips

I used these as a garnish for some lentil soup, though they are just as delicious to snack on as-is. Since I made these well before dinnertime, I re-crisped them in a 350F oven for a few minutes–taking care to monitor them closely so they would not burn. 

3-4 parsnips peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil

10 thyme sprigs, stripped of leaves

1 lemon (I used a meyer lemon) zested

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Using a vegetable peeler, sharp knife, or mandoline, slice off thin strips of parsnip–leaving behind the woody center if using large parsnips. Toss parsnips in a large bowl with olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Spread parsnips onto the baking sheet in an even layer so they crisp and do not steam. Bake for 12 minutes, toss using tongs, and roast for another 10-12 minutes until crisp and browned along the thinnest edges.

  1. This looks so great, Cindy! Crispy veggies are the best. I’ve roasted parsnip and carrot chunks together before, but I love the sound of these strips so much. Yum!

  2. I love this idea! I usually think of myself as someone who loves veggies, but your post made me realize that I have definitely given parsnips the cold shoulder…..and a few others. So, I may be tagging along on your “snubbed” veggie challenge of 2012.

  3. I would never have thought of roasting parsnips this way…. And lemon and thyme?!?!? Two of my favorite ingredients! I MUST try them!

    Yummy. And. Gorgeous.

  4. Yum! I love parsnips. We had some for Christmas dinner – although it’s summer here and not really in season (read: expensive!), we had to buy some since it was Christmas afterall. I quartered them lengthwise and tossed them in chinese 5-spice, a bit of honey, drizzle of sesame and olive oil, and roasted them until the edges were crispy. :)

  5. I’ve never tried parsnips before, I haven’t seen them were I live but I’m really intirgued about how they taste like, the texture looks crunchy and your recipe sure makes me more excited to try them, they look delicious

  6. What a gorgeous flavour combination! I absolutely adore parsnips. They might be my favourite vegetable to roast – okay, second only to potatoes – and I love this idea for shredding them. Extra crispiness = extra awesomeness.

  7. Howdy! I clicked through from Meg’s blog… welcome to Michigan! I live in Ferndale too but I’m originally from the Lansing area, so feel free to pick my brain about Lansing stuff. :)
    Also, I think I know what I’m doing with the parsnips and Meyer lemon in my fridge. Looks excellent.

    • Hi! Thanks for the welcome…I think Ferndale is so cute! I hope you make the parsnips, they really are good! I’ll definitely have to ask you about Lansing stuff :)

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