Yes. The parsnip. A more unfortunately visaged and monnikered vegetable would be hard to imagine. Much maligned, little loved in modern times, there they were, a large contingent in my bi-weekly bio-veg bag at the greengrocer.
The parsnip is actually very good for you. On the downside, a parsnip’s calorie content rivals that of a banana, but on the upside it is a fantastic source of dietary fiber, has anti-oxidant properties and is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B, folic acid and minerals such as potassium, iron and manganese.
Despite the parsnip’s impressive nutritional CV, when I find parsnips in the veg bag, I usually set them aside to feed the birds. I had yet to discover a recipe that’s worth the effort of cooking a parsnip. Most involve boiling the things to a pulp and white sauce. Autumn has been mild so far, the birds have enough to eat and I didn’t want to attract any weasels to the yard. This Monday afternoon, saw me full of vim and vinegar, absurdly intolerant regarding weasels, and up for a good ol’ fashioned google search. So a googling I went, in search of an interesting recipe for parsnips.
This Good Food recipe appealed. It was easy to follow, called for basic, non-exotic ingredients, and doesn’t require Cordon Bleu level cooking skill. When I read the description “the new carrot cake” I was sold!
For the “mixed spice”, I used “koek en speculaaskruiden. As far as I can tell, any combination of spices involving something from the cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg,ginger family will do. Go on, experiment!
I was also lazy and used my kitchen machine’s julienne function to shred the parsnips and apple. The texture may have been a bit coarser than in the original recipe, but it gives the cake a nice robust, rustic look.
This cake has the Imp 2 stamp of approval.