Parsnips are awesome and it’s not just the long skinny tails. They are so versatile! Mashed, roasted, fried, I even caught my 2 year old eating them raw although I haven’t tried that yet. The key to this recipe is two simple steps, and I can’t take credit for them although I think I can take credit for using them on parsnips. The parsnips are parboiled and must be carefully dried before baking.
The pan and oil are preheated and the fries sizzle when dropped on the pan.
This technique is lifted straight out of The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, it is excellent for potatoes and as I suspected parsnips. This is the perfect recipe if you are afraid of frying (I really just can’t stand the hassle of deep-frying, I’m not afraid of fat) The fries are crispy and satisfying and there are never any leftovers. I finished these with smoked sea salt when they came out of the oven which added a nice subtle flavor. This step is not necessary but if you any interesting salt varieties in your cupboard give it a try! I have found that most fancy salts are better as a finishing and I use regular sea salt when cooking, just not as much.
Oven Baked Parsnip Fries
5 medium size parsnips
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
salt + pepper
1 tsp smoked or other sea salt
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Peel and cut parsnips into “fries”. Place in a large pot and bring to a boil until just starting to soften. They won’t need to boil for long so keep a close eye on them while they’re cooking. Drain and carefully dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels.
Bake Fries. Spread two cookie sheets with one tablespoon olive oil each. Preheat in oven 4 minutes. Remove from oven. Carefully place fries in one even layer. Don’t forget you’re working with a hot pan here! Drizzle each pan with about a teaspoon of olive oil, a few shakes of sea salt (not much if adding salt at the end) and a few grinds of black pepper. Bake 25 minutes, turning pan and stirring fries at 10 minutes and 20 minutes. Season with flavored salt.