Yup, we found some wild parsnips! It’s amazing the plant treasures that you can find in old farm fields. We are reclaiming a spot for a perennial bed that has been over grown for probably 50 years. Before the current house was built here there was an old farm house that burnt down. In its’ place popple grew (since they’re a disturbance species this was the perfect spot). Last Fall, Dustin and a very good friend felled all of popple to open up the area and reduce the risk of trees falling on our house! So, now we have this really cool area with a ton of rock walls (remnants of the old farm house) that is completely filled with various grasses, a few maple and apple trees, raspberries, some other perennials , burdock and WILD PARSNIPS! Before we started weeding out the area one of our friends pointed out the tops of the parsnips. We dug one up- there is no mistaking the smell of fresh cut parsnips! And now we’ve been harvesting the parsnips and reaping all of the nutritional benefits they have been storing for all these years (parsnips are high in vitamin C!). 🙂
A lot of people have never had parsnips, much less wild ones! Usually, the way to eat parsnips is roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper and some fresh parsley… and that’s a yummy side dish. You can also throw them in a soup or even fry them! We made an appetizer, Parsnip and Feta dip, from Barbara Damrosh and Eliot Coleman’s new book; The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.
The recipe is so simple and requires few ingredients…and I didn’t measure anything out!
Parsnip and Feta Dip from Barbara Damrosh
1 large parsnip (or 2 Cups) cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 Tbs olive oil
3/4 Cup of feta chees
1/4 Cup heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper and salt
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the parsnip chunks and whole, unpeeled garlic onto a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil. I sprinkled some S&P on at this time as well. Put them in the oven for about 20 minutes before you turn the parsnips and roast them for another 10 minutes. When they’re nice and golden brown, take them out. Squeeze the pulp from the garlic and add it to a blender or food processor, followed by the feta and cream. Add the parsnips and blend it all until smooth. I heated it all back up a little and topped it with some fresh scallions before serving it with crackers. This would also make a fabulous spread on a fresh slice of homemade bread! Now share and enjoy!
Anyways. finding these was a tasty surprise. We’ll look forward to growing parsnips in the future!