Parsnip Fries with Tahini Herb Dip
One of my first memories of farming goes back to the spring of 2009. Taylor and I had just moved to the east coast from Bend, Oregon and we’re learning the farming ropes on his family’s 60 acre organic farm. One of our first tasks was to harvest hundreds of pounds of overwintered parsnips for the farm stand. I had never eaten a parsnip prior to this particular day and I wasn’t sure I was going to like this strange looking root vegetable. After hours of harvesting heavy crate after heavy crate I was on the brink of tears. My back hurt, it was pouring rain, and I began to doubt our decision to move back to the land. I learned quickly that farming is 100 percent a physical labor job and my body was in for a rude awakening.
After that cold and wet day harvesting parsnips I decided there must be something pretty special about this root vegetable. I mean, we grew thousands of them and the customers all lined up at the door for their first parsnips in the early spring. I figured they all new something that I was missing out on.
When we finally called it a day I grabbed a basket and filled it with a few parsnips so Taylor and I could roast some up for dinner. The result? I burned them and we ended up making pizza.
However, I didn’t let my failure stop me from trying again. The very next evening, after another cold and wet day in the fields we came home, took hot showers and got cooking. I sliced the parsnips and tossed them in a little olive oil, sea salt + pepper and roasted them in a hot oven (keeping an extra close eye on them this time). We were a little skeptical at first but after a few bites our minds were made up. We fell in love and the rest is history.
That story is from six years ago and my love for parsnips is still going strong to this day. Despite being a real pain in the ass to harvest they are on of my favorite vegetables. They have a lovely sweet and earthy flavor and when tossed with just a little oil, salt and pepper they are perfect.
Unfortunately, we did not overwinter any parsnips at Tumbleweed Farm this year. I was feeling pretty bummed when I noticed all the parsnips being harvested at our old farm (Hutchins Farm) and I think my father-in-law could feel my sadness from across the country. A couple of days ago there was a package dropped off at Tumbleweed. I about cried with joy when I opened up a box full of parsnips. Ten pounds of this lovely root vegetable all the way from the very place I first fell in love.
Taylor and I celebrated with a couple of cold beers and parsnip fries. The perfect farmers afternoon snack.
I hope you all enjoy these fries as much as we do. They could not be easier to prepare and are bursting with fresh flavors. The creamy garlic-herb dip is a fantastic addition and would also taste great as a spread on sandwiches, wraps or as a dip for other veggies too. Bon appétit!
Parsnip Fries with Creamy Garlic-Tahini & Herb Dip
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Serves: 4-6Parsnip Fries
- 2 pounds parsnips, peeled and sliced into thin strips (think french fry size)
- 2 Tablespoons parsley, minced
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
- pinch of fine sea salt + pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons tahini
- salt and pepper to taste
- Water to thin if necessary
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Toss the parsnips with the parsley, oil salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven until browned and crisp on all sides. About 20 minutes. Toss the parsnips once or twice throughout cooking and rotate the pan halfway.
- Prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients (minus the water) in a small food processor and processing until smooth and creamy. If the sauce is too thick add a little water to thin. Taste test and adjust seasonings if need be.
- Serve the parsnip fries with the dip and enjoy!
Notes*I cook with a taste and feel method. Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary. *Taste test as you go. *Have fun in the kitchen