Parsnips were not my favourite as a child. I think it’s mainly that I always hoped they were chips and was mightily disappointed by this sweet imposter’s attempts to up my fibre intake. There are a few tricks to getting roasted parsnips right and once you have them sorted it’s easy peasy. Roasting your parsnips to soft or crispy perfection depends on what you roast them in, I’ll explain later. Parsnips have a lot of natural sugars so you don’t need to add more sweetness (although parsnips and honey is very popular). Star Anise has a licorice taste that goes beautifully with the parsnip’s sweetness. You don’t need much star anise to let this happy union sing.
Serves 2 Adults & 2 Kids
3 star anise
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
- The first tip for getting roast parsnips just right is removing the woody centre. This is the bit that can feel unpleasant when you eat it so ditching it at the beginning makes for a yummier result.
- Cut away the top and end of the parsnip.
- Cut in half lengthways.
- Cut in half again so that you now have quarters.
- The woody centre is exposed now and you can easily trim away the triangular shaped woody part leaving just soft, sweet parsnip behind.
- Pre-heat the oven to 195°c (175°c Fan).
- If you like your roasted parsnips crisp then tip the veggies onto a flat baking sheet. If you like them a little softer tip them into a roasting dish that has sides.
- Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle over the salt. Toss them with your hands until the vegetables are coated in salty oil.
- Normally I chuck veg in and where it lands, there shall it cook. But with parsnips I take time to arrange them so that the thinnest parts are in the centre of the tray to stop them burning.
- Pop the star anise on top of the parsnips at equal distances and roast for 15 minutes then turn the veg and roast for another 10 minutes. If using a baking sheet check on them after 5 minutes after they go back in as they may be done.
- Remove the star anise and serve. Garnish with a fresh star anise just for prettiness.