This warm snack makes me dream of a situation that seems to be far from what is possible for my pace of life right now. I would love to be sitting on a sunny porch, neighbors in the street, warm afternoon weather in the mid 70's (which it actually is right now- thank you, California), chatting on big chairs and eating this as a snack with a cappucino that someone else made for me. Probably Hugh, because he is pretty great at all that coffee business. The kind with a heart drawn in the foam, please. You are totally invited, there are so many of you that I would love to get to know better in person. We'd talk food and life... because all of my conversations whittle down to those two subjects. I adore talking food with people who, well, love food. Since you're here and reading, I suppose you qualify. Just to sit with no plan, no responsibilty of needing to be anywhere but on that big chair on the sprawling porch with my warm snack. Our warm snack.
In my mind, these parsnips were going to be like a grown up french fry. I don't know if the end result could fool you as such, but they're still good. Dietetically, I'm not typically one to say 'be generous with the cheese', but the parm is what gives these flavor and is the only fat involved, so adorn them with the crust they deserve. As far as cheeses go, it's not too bad for you anyway. Practically health food, just do it.
ROASTED PARMESAN PARSNIPS // Serves 4 as a side
When you buy parsnips, make sure they are firm and heavy, like a good carrot. If they have any spongy give, they will taste sour and medicinal when cooked. Next time, I will drizzle a little olive oil before baking to get an even better crispness.
8 Parsnips, Cleaned and Peeled
2 Large Egg Whites
1 Tbsp. Dried Oregano
2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/3 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Ground Pepper
// Dipping Sauce // or you can use your favorite Marinara to save time
1 Cup Organic Tomato Pulp/Diced Tomatoes
3 Cloves Roasted Garlic
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt/Pepper and Roasted Red Pepper Flakes
Oven to 425.
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and either spray or give it a rub of butter.
2. Cut the parsnips into wedges or halves depending on the thickness. Since they taper so much, I used the ends whole then cut the fat top into fourths. Try to get them as evenly sized as possible.
3. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites til frothy with 2 tsp dried oregano.
4. Working with about half of the parsnips at a time, toss in the egg white and then gently roll in the parmesan cheese. Place each parsnip on the baking sheet, with space in between. Sprinkle the fresh rosemary and generous amounts of fresh pepper and salt. You may even want to give one more sprinkling of parmesan, you want them pretty well doused.
5. Bake the wedges about 20-25 minutes until crispy and cooked through. Rotate and test them after 15 minutes baking as the size of parsnips will vary.
6. While baking, either prepare your own dipping sauce by simmering ingredients listed above, or use your own favorite marinara.