Crisp roasted parsnips coated in the sweet, woody flavour of maple syrup. These maple syrup parsnips are a Christmas favourite.
It takes just five ingreditns to make these sticky-sweet maple syrup parsnips. Swap honey for a much sweeter glaze of maple syrup. The sweetness of the syrup really compliments the sharp earthy flavour of the parsnips. This recipe serves four and takes around 45 minutes to prepare and roast the parsnips.
- 700g (1lb 9oz) parsnips, peeled
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 2tbsp maple syrup
- 3tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Cut the parsnips in half lengthways and in half again. Add to a pan of boiling salted water and parboil for 2 mins. Drain well.
- Place the butter and maple syrup in a small pan and heat gently. (You can do this in a microwave if you prefer).
- Transfer the parsnips to a roasting tin then brush with the maple mixture and season to taste. Cook, shaking the pan frequently, for 30 mins or until golden brown.
- Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and return to the oven for 5 mins. Transfer to a warm serving dish.
Top tips for making maple syrup parsnips
Parsnips should be peeled thinly, as a lot of the best flavour is only just underneath the skin. If you prefer not to peel them, give them a very good scrub with a hard bristle vegetable brush. This will take off just the very top surface. They tend to get bigger later in the season (in late winter and early spring), and these ones are usually better peeled rather than scrubbed. Don’t store opened maple syrup in your food cupboard or larder. Unlike honey, maple syrup has a short shelf life and will get moldy quickly unless you keep it in the refrigerator.
Maple syrup is still an underused ingredient in British cooking. It’s usually only brought out for pancakes, but this is a shame - it’s a versatile flavour. First discovered by Indigenous people of North America, they used it for cooking meat, among other things. It seems quintessentially Canadian (they produce over 80% of the world’s supply), but this is actually quite a recent takeover. It used to come mostly from the US. Though it is an expensive ingredient, you don’t need much for maple syrup parsnips. Plus it’s one of those ingredients many people have hanging around in the fridge. In which case this is an excellent use for it.
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Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.
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