If you haven’t already, please make sure you’re familiar with basic knife safety before starting this tutorial. (link)
Parsnips are a funny-looking vegetable – they’re a bit like carrots but much paler and their shape is kind of exaggerated. Parsnips are quite soft for a root vegetable, and they have a unique flavour. In this tutorial, we’ll be making parsnip chunks.
Just like with carrots, it’s best if you can avoid peeling your parsnips to preserve the mineral content. Rinse them off under clean running water, and give them a scrub with a clean washing-up brush if they need it.
Chop the very top and bottom off the parsnip. When you chop the top off, check for for brown discolouration inside. If there is any, just chop a little bit more off the top.
(If there are any other blemishes, you can cut a small ‘V’ shape either side of the blemish to get rid of it, just like with carrots.)
The shape of a parsnip makes it a little harder to cut chunks all the same size. Remember, we’re aiming for chunks about 2cm (a little under an inch) on each side. So I would start from the skinny end of the parsnip, like in the picture below.
When you reach the top of the parsnip, place it on its flat surface to cut it into thirds or quarters, depending how wide it is.
Chunks of parsnip are great in roasts, but they’re good in casseroles and stews too. Because they’re soft, parsnips only take an hour to cook in an oven at Gas Mark 4 (180°C, 160°C in a fan oven). Once they’re cooked, parsnips should be soft enough to easily poke a fork into.