The parsnip, or Pastinaca sativa, is a root vegetable which was a favoured vegetable of the ancient Greeks and Romans for whom it formed part of the basic diet.
Parsnips contain fewer starches than potatoes but store more starch than carrots. The sweet flavour of the parsnip is the result of the conversion of starch into sugar, which can reach as high as 5%. Exposure to cold causes the parsnip to convert more starch, which makes it sweeter in winter than in autumn.
Basic techniques: frying, boiling, roasting, puréeing, stewing, grilling, steaming, deep-frying, baking, smoking.
Taste combinations: almond, apple, mushrooms, green cabbage, oxheart cabbage, garlic, onion, shallot, carrot, sauerkraut, smoked bacon, various game and poultry, mackerel, scallops, trout, blue cheese, crème fraîche, mascarpone, vanilla, mustard, dark beer, citrus.