June 26, 2018

Honey Mustard Parsnips and Carrots

A rare image of wild parsnips running amok
Parsnips are interesting things. If you're not aware, they're the albino-carrot looking things that you walk past without buying at the grocery store. Which seems crazy, because parsnips have a kind of nutty, peppery flavor that's completely delicious. The thing is though, it makes sense that you'd overlook them. They're kind of like the root vegetable equivalent of chameleons. Or maybe ninjas. They just seem to blend in perfectly with whatever you cook them with. Also, they may have played a role in assassinating several feudal lords of ancient Japan. And sure, that last thing I said probably isn't true, but we don't know for sure. Uncertainty is a powerful tool, for man and root vegetable alike. Anyhow, the point is that parsnips aren't carrots. Despite this, they do taste good with carrots. Which just goes to prove the old adage: if two things look similar, you should probably put them together and eat them.


1 lb. Carrots
1 lb. Parsnips
1 TBSP Honey
2 TBSP Dijon Mustard
3 TBSP Olive Oil
Black Pepper

The first thing you're going to need to do is get over the fact that we're cooking root vegetables in late June. Sometimes life throws you curveballs. Sometimes those lifeballs come in the form of a semi-regular box of misshapen produce that you're paying to have delivered to your apartment, and in the weird produce choices that said box has been stocked with this week. You can sit and cry about it, like the family of an assassinated Japanese feudal lord, or you can make something great out of your random box of assorted nonsense. So grab your vegetables, peel them, and get to chopping. Now carrots and parsnips tend to be skinny at one end and fat at the other. Skinny chunks of food cook faster than large chunks of food, and since we want all of our food to finish cooking at the same time we're going to have to deal with that. I like to cut them in half to make them easier to work with, a principle which I apply to many of my culinary and business dealings. Then I halve the skinny ends, and I quarter the fat ends. Once you've finished your root vegetable trigonometry, toss them into a bowl along with a smallish pinch of pepper, a large pinch of salt, and 2 TBSP of your olive oil. Throw that mess on to a baking tray, doing your best to keep it in a single layer, and then toss it in to a 400 degree oven for 1/2 an hour. 

This here is why the rice kingdoms fell
Halfway through this process, make sure to take everything back out of the oven, stir it all around, and ineffectually poke at the vegetables with a fork while contemplating whether they'll finish cooking in time. After contemplatively staring at your parsnips for about 2 and a half minutes, throw it all back in the oven for the rest of the cook time. Stir together your honey, mustard, and the rest of your oil until they form a homogenous goop. After your half hour of cooking is up, pour that goop all over your vegetables, stir that nonsense together, and throw it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. You'll know it's done when you start to get some color on the vegetables, everything around your oven begins to smell fantastic, and when 15 minutes have passed. And that's it! Or, well mostly it. Take your vegetables out of the oven. And that's it! Serve them as a snack, a side dish, or a warning to the shinobi tribes operating in the shadows of your local produce store.

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