Meet your vegetables: Parsnip

Meet Parsnip – she’s rainy days, chunky cardigans and staying put.

Life lesson: leave parsnips in the ground over winter.

A cold rain makes slow little streams on the window. Parsnip sits at the kitchen table with a steaming toddy, a dog-eared paperback, a loose ball of chunky knitting. She pulls her oatmeal cardigan closed and adds honey then more whiskey. The frost has mostly passed and soon she’ll be ready to come up, but there’s still time. It’s quiet and she’s cozy here.

Parsnip takes her own sweet time – she’s a real dawdler. More reluctant than timid, she took two long weeks to germinate and all season to grow stout. Now she rests under thick mulch over winter, growing sweeter and going slightly nutty (in a good way).

Parsnip is all earthy fibre and sensible potassium. Carrot is crunchier and Potato has more protein – and though she lacks Sweet Potato’s buxom sensuality, you can bake them together in a pie real nice.

The Urban Peasant pairs unfussy Parsnip with sesame seeds, soy sauce, parsley and a hearty knuckle of butter. She’s a pillowy bosom when mashed, seasoned and eaten in a bowl. But she always prefers slow roasting.

So take a deep breath and a big slug, you’re not going anywhere fast when you’re with Parsnip.

Illustration by Corrie Godfrey – designer, illustrator and fellow parsnip.