Selection:  Look for small to medium-sized parsnips with beige skin.  You'll find them year-round in the grocery store, but their peak season is from fall to spring.  They should be blemish-free and firm.

Store:  Like other root vegetables, parsnips store well.  Wrap unwashed parsnips in a paper towel, place in a plastic zip-top bag, and store in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Use:  Wash the exterior, and peel.  Cut off the top and bottom, and slice or julienne, depending on the recipe's direction.  Then steam, roast, or sauté for a hearty side dish.  Add parsnips during the last 30 minutes of cooking when preparing stews and soups to keep them appealingly tasty. 

Honey Glazed Root Vegetables

3 1/2 cup fresh parsnips, sliced

3 cups fresh carrots, sliced

Steam the vegetables for 3 minutes and cool.

2 T. butter

1/4 cup honey

Melt the butter and honey together.

1/2 cup diced onion

Sautee onion, parsnips and carrots together until lightly caramelized, stirring carefully so as to not break the vegetables.

Homemade Beef Stock

Makes 10 to 12 cups

5 pounds beef and bones w/ marrow

2 carrots, roughly chopped

1 stalk celery, roughly chopped

1 parsnip, roughly chopped

1 dried bay leaf

1 onion, unpeeled and halved lengthwise

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Place meat and bones in a large stock pot. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer. Cook, skimming occasionally, until no more foam rises to the surface, about 1 hour. Add water if at any time the surface level drops below the bones. Remove any accumulated fat from the surface.

Add carrots, celery, parsnip, and bay leaf. Place onion halves directly on the trivet of a gas-stove burner over high heat or on a grill. Turn the onion with tongs as the onion becomes golden brown. If you do not have a gas stove, place the onion on a baking pan, and broil in the oven, turning as each side becomes golden brown. Add onion to stockpot. Continue to simmer until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.

Prepare an ice-water bath. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, or a cheesecloth-lined strainer, into a large bowl. Discard the solids. Transfer the bowl to the ice-water bath, and let the stock cool to room temperature.