Hail the Parsnip!

As you may have guessed by now, Tuesdays are my new favorite day. Well, Saturdays will always be first, but when it comes to weekdays, Tuesdays are now it. I've gotten out of my late-night routine of slaving away over hot, gas stoves in the kitchens at school and not hitting my pillow until the wee hours of 12:00 or 1:00am, to now rising at 5:00am for a 5:30am spinning class. The mornings prove to be cold and dark, but I love the feeling of being able to hear a pin drop as I go out to my car and head off to the gym. The sense of being up before the rest of the world and getting that much-needed workout done before 6:30am is always worth getting up for. And greeting my fellow spinners in class is an added bonus.

My other reason for loving Tuesdays? When I get home from class I know I'll be able to open up the paper to find recipes I've helped cook for shaping stories in the day's FOODday. My favorite recipes in today's edition? Parsnips! They're my new favorite vegetable. A root vegetable, parsnips have a visual appearance of white carrots and carry a sweet flavor to them. Linda and I couldn't get enough of the Roasted Parsnips with Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary. Wow. They were a delectable surprise hot from the oven as Mike so gracefully shot for the photo on page FD3. And let me tell you, they were even delicious cold out of the refrigerator the next day! It may be due to the cold weather, or maybe it's the fact that it really is easy to make at home, but soups are hot on my list of favorite foods to curl up with right now. The Parsnip, Carrot and Ginger Soup concoction is another hit. The sweetness of the parsnips with a little punch of the carrots and sherry vinegar make it a savory bowl to carry in your palms on these incredibly chilly days we're experiencing in Portland. Lastly, the Heidi's Parsnip Muffins were a sweet treat for skeptics out in the newsroom. When a few voices in the photo department heard I was testing muffins made with grated parsnips, their faces became covered with looks of disgust. "Well, think of a carrot muffin, or carrot cake," I told them, and their faces came back to normalcy. Like Linda and I were with the roasted parsnips this group was with the muffins. They're perfect, and like everything else, are just delicious. And you can still feel good about them as they're made with vegetables! I stopped by the store on my way home from work last night to pick up my bunch of parsnips, and I highly suggest you hop to it and get yourself a bag as well. If you try any of the recipes, let me know what you think!

Savory waffles? No warm maple syrup, no fruit compote, no whipped cream? Yeah, that's sort of what we thought when Grant approached us to come up with some toppings for the increasingly popular food. Once we opened our minds a bit, though, Linda, Grant and I couldn't stop coming up with savory items to add to them. "Ok, so think of just about anything you can top a pizza with," I said to the two as the idea was beginning to make the wheels in my mind spin. Later that afternoon, Linda and I could have honestly sat at her PC for hours thinking of different items to top on the buttermilk and cornmeal-filled goodies. It's fun once you get going. I've promised more than one friend a Sunday brunch at my place for a while now. I must get it on the calendar, for now I have something unique to play with! A "Savory Waffle Sunday Brunch?" Yum!

Yes, it's cold out, but be sure to enjoy the gorgeous clear blue sky and bright sunshine welcoming the city on this Tuesday.



Anonymous said...

OMG, I would have continued to ignore the parsnip if it had not been for your post. I'm going to get some and try these recipes. :) ~Erica

Anonymous said...

I too love a good bowl of soup! This has peeked my interest. She

Keith said...

I LOVE parsnips. When they are in a mix of roasted vegetables they shine like little peices of candy. mmmm

Your days at the Oregonian sound like so much fun.

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