Sweet and savoury parsnip chips

Sweet and savoury parsnip chips

By
From
Best Kitchen Basics
Serves
4
Photographer
Petrina Tinslay

On a slow news day in 2009, a famous Australian TV gardening guru and an equally famous cookery author went to war – over the humble parsnip. The guru described the author as ‘wretched’ for serving parsnips to people, as they were not fit for pigs. ‘I’m outraged, I’m angry, I’m upset, I’m crushed. I’m all of those things and a lot more,’ he said on air. He insisted that they (the poor parsnips) ‘were an affront to human dignity. I respect pigs, I like pigs, but I wouldn’t give my pet pig parsnips.’

The author and the parsnip industry rose up to defend the worthy vegetable. The author said the guru was ‘out of touch’ and sent him a box of parsnips with recipes, challenging him to confront his prejudices.

‘I was surprised he was having a go. It’s just a parsnip,’ the author said. ‘If the guru cared to step into a modern restaurant he would find everyone’s using parsnips – they’re in vogue.’

Not only ‘in vogue’, Madam. Bloody delicious.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

Sweet parsnip chips

Quantity Ingredient
2 large parsnips, peeled
500g sugar

Savoury parsnip chips

Quantity Ingredient
2 large parsnips
vegetable oil, for frying
murray river pink salt

Method

  1. For the sweet parsnip chips preheat the oven to 50°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Carefully slice the parsnips as thinly as possible using a mandoline.
  3. In a saucepan over medium–high heat, bring the sugar and 1 litre water to the boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and add the sliced parsnips. Cook for 15 minutes or until soft, but not falling apart.
  4. Strain the parsnips through a colander and drain.
  5. Place the parsnip chips on the lined baking tray and bake for 2–3 hours or until dry and crisp.
  6. For the savoury parsnip chips, carefully slice the parsnips as thinly as possible using a mandoline.
  7. Heat the vegetable oil to 160°C in a deep-fryer or deep saucepan and fry the parsnips until lightly golden. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with pink salt to serve.
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