It’s funny that a dirty, gnarled root vegetable would be a long-awaited springtime delicacy, but the appearance of spring-dug parsnips in the farmers markets is a sure sign that warmer days are afoot. Planted last year and left in the ground to overwinter, buried under mountains of snow, farmers know that once tiny shoots of green leafy regrowth emerge in early spring, it’s time to pull them up. Sure, roots harvested in the fall are nutty and sweet with a satisfying chew—welcome in any wintertime mixed-veggie roast—but spring-dug parsnips have developed a candy-like sweetness over the coldest months that make them extra special and crave-worthy. Here are three ways to celebrate their arrival.
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, soccer mom, Italophile and managing editor at Edible Boston. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.