It might surprise you to know that the parsnip belongs to the same family as carrots and parsley. It has been used as a vegetable in Europe since Roman times and as a sweetener before the advent of cane sugar.
Parsnips are delicious - sweet and earthy - but they are also incredibly good for you. They are very rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly potassium, and they are thought to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Parsnips are a crucial vegetable accompaniment for any Christmas dinner.
"The foaming butter should turn light brown and smell nutty. It is important to let it reach this stage, so that it will slowly caramelise the parsnips. But don’t let the butter burn or it will become carcinogenic and indigestible, besides tasting unpleasant."
"Parsnips are high in sugar and could over caramelise - use a timer to ensure that you do not forget them in the oven!"
"You could add some honey and lemon to the parsnips, or some seeds such as cumin or caraway seeds."
Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2018
Food photography by David Griffen