Several months into one of the worst winters we’ve seen in a while, I’ve been noticing a collective hostility growing around me. Yes, I live in NYC and people are supposed to be pushy and rude all the time, but we’re not. I swear. People on the subway who would normally hold a door for one another are pushing fellow riders out of the way. So what’s behind the bad attitudes? I’m no psychologist, but I think it’s the weather. We can really only handle so many layers of clothing, snowstorms and days in a row of temperatures hitting the midteens before we start to get a little cranky.
With Valentine’s Dayhere, the most we can do is spread a little love to ourselves and hope that other people start catching the love bug. The best way I know to do this is a homey and comforting winter meal to warm me up from the inside out. At the center of these meals you’ll often find a few parsnips, which are at their peak throughout the winter. Parsnips are cousins to carrots, with the same woody texture as and similar flavor to turnips, and are often used in a manner similar to potatoes.
Pull on your snow boots, pick up some parsnips and get some love cooking in your kitchen.
- Let parsnips shine on their own with simple Herbed Butter Parsnips.
- In a pickle for some pickles? Make quick Pickled Root Vegetable Salad (pictured above).
- Parsnip-flecked Egg “Barley” Farfel isn’t really barley; farfel is an egg-noodle dough grated to resemble barley in size and shape.
- Roasted root veggies are simple side dishes that pair with everything: Try Rosemary-Roasted Root Vegetables and Roasted Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and Brussels Sprouts.
- Winter staples (parsnips, butternut squash and fennel) are present and accounted for in Rachael Ray’s Creamy Winter Vegetable Soup.
- Parsnips and potatoes are the subtle yet necessary backup dancers in Creamy Apple and Celery Root Soup with Grilled Cheddar, Bacon and Apple-Honey Mustard Sandwiches.
- Root Vegetable Risotto with Carrot Butter is an ideal Meatless Monday dish for meat lovers. Mushrooms help give a meaty feeling to lots of dishes and can even be processed in a food processor and mixed with ground meat to make lower-fat burgers.
- Rachael Ray’s Creamy Chicken and Mushroom One-Pot with Pot Pie Toppers is a one-pot-stop meal. Make the pot pie filling and cut out sheets of puff pastry dough to top individual bowls.
- Kelsey Nixon winterizes everyone’s favorite pasta — lasagna — in her Lasagna with Sausage, Butternut Squash and parsnips.
- Parsnip Puree makes for an easy, elegant side dish.
- Beef and Roasted Vegetable Stew utilizes budget-friendly items like parsnips, lentils and beef shank. But Nadia G. reminds you not to cheap out on the wine you choose to cook with — only use wine you’d also drink.
- Hungarian-Style Shepherd’s Pie, topped with a parsnip/potato mash, is Rachael Ray’s spin on classic goulash.
- Rachael Ray utilizes premade biscuit mix for quick-fix dumplings in Vegetable and Dumpling Soup.
- Vegetable Chips are my favorite snack to serve when friends come over for a drink. They’re salty, crunchy and everyone will be amazed that they’re snacking on veggies.
- Poule au Pot is French for easy, healthy poached-chicken dinner with lots of root veggies. My French may be a bit rusty, but you get the idea.
- An appetizer and side dish in one: Root Vegetable Mash along with easy fried potato skins stuffed with crab salad.
- Grilled cheese croutons are the best thing to happen to soup since grilled cheese; thus, Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons.
- Here’s an easy, cozy soup perfect for make-ahead work lunches. Cook a big batch and freeze the rest of this Creamy Cauliflower and Parsnip Soup.
- Slow-cooked brisket will warm the whole family up. Cook this Brisket with Parsnips, Leeks and Green Onions low and slow. It’s pretty much a meal you can set and forget, but check on the liquid levels in the pot periodically to avoid ending up with a dry piece of meat.
- Vegetable-heavy dishes help balance out our often meat-heavy diets. Roasted Mushroom, Parsnip, Potato and Spinach Casserole works as a side dish or a Meatless Monday main dish.
- Sweeten up parsnips and your valentine with Maple Roasted Parsnips.
- Leftover mashed potatoes and crispy fried parsnips round out Emeril’s Bacon-Wrapped Butterfish Served Peasant Style.
- Bubble and Squeak Cakes are a take on traditional English breakfast fare that utilizes leftovers. Add whatever is in the fridge — like parsnips, if you have any left — and top it all off with a fried egg for a quick brunch.
- Horseradish- and Salt-Crusted Prime Rib is roasted right along with root veggies for a super-flavorful one-pot meal that’s perfect for a dinner party. Tyler Florence suggests taking the meat out when it hits 125 degrees F (for medium-rare) because the meat will continue to cook even after it’s out of the oven.
- Nothing says “I love you” quite like Porchetta with Truffled Potatoes and Maple-Glazed Root Vegetables. Porchetta is a traditional Italian dish of stuffed pork belly slow-roasted (really slow, like 8-hours-slow) to perfection. Totally worth it.
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