Parsnips have a long taproot that can grow up to a foot in length and roughly three inches in diameter at the crown. Growing above ground, the plant?s foliage resembles large celery leaves and stems. The tapered root varies in skin color depending on variety, from a yellow-beige to a brighter white. A Parsnip?s flesh is always a creamy white. Parsnips have smooth skin with a sweet, nutty flavor and fine grained flesh.
Parsnips, like carrots, may be used in sweet or savory preparations because of their high natural sugar content. Cook diced Parsnips in milk and sugar until tender, then puree, strain and freeze into ice cream. Boil cooked Parsnips until tender, then mash with butter and cream and blue cheese. Saute sliced Parsnips with onions, tomatoes, and vegetable stock, then blend into soup. Thinly slice Parsnip root, fennel and celery root, then toss with a lemon vinaigrette. Store Parsnip root as you would carrots, cool and dry for up to two weeks.