I've never done much with parsnips. I'm not keen on them mashed, they're too sweet. I like them roasted with other root vegetables, but they're really an afterthought and I wouldn't miss them. And they don't go with cheese, a serious strike for me.
I like the idea of parsnip chips, but when I came across a recipe for parsnip cakes in my favorite Irish cookbook, In An Irish Country Kitchenby Clare Connery, the recipe looked so easy, I thought I'd give them a try.
The recipe was simple. Cook and mash the parsnips, season, add a little flour, form into small patties, dip in beaten egg and breadcrumbs and fry in butter until golden brown on each side. The mixture was very soft so I recommend keeping the pancakes small (about 2" across) to make sure they keep together. I used the back of my spatula to press the cakes down as they cooked. Definitely drain off any surplus oil before serving.
They were absolutely delicious! Frying them with the egg and breadcrumbs made them much more savory, yet the parsnip's distinct sweetness was there. I added a little creme fraiche with chives to make them pretty.
They were delicious on their own, but I plan to serve them at dinner with veggie sausages, bacon, and baked beans.
(Later note: These were so good that we scoffed the lot as appetizers.)
p.s. I've started a new blog called Culinary Quotes.If you have a favorite culinary quote, feel free to email it to me. If I post it, I'll list you and your blog as the source.
p.p.s. If you have a young brood of future foodies, check out my review of Food for Thought, a cool concept book for kids with a food theme, at BookCarousel.