Parsnips, those pale cousins of the beloved carrot, are filling up farmers market stands here in the Pacific Northwest lately. And while it's commonplace and simple to roast them for a quick side dish, pairing them with something a little sweeter can make a show-stopping addition to the average dinner spread or the more-than-average holiday table. Parsnips have a slightly spicy flavor and a milky white color and are most commonly roasted or used in soups, stews and casseroles to add a buttery depth of flavor. Pears, on the other hand, are soft and sweet and subtle. They're often eaten raw, sliced in salads or folded into baked goods.
So how and why did the two collide? Pears bring sweetness to a dish that includes parsnips, and they balance the peppery notes well. Parsnips bring texture and boldness to a simple pear dish. You'll find them in everything from tarts to soups to purees, and they'd make a lovely (and different) addition to a holiday meal this year.
Here are a few recipes we've got our eyes on:
Try a Recipe:
• Gingered Pears and Parsnips (pictured above) - Food Network
• Parsnip and Pear Puree - Martha Stewart
• Parsnip Pear Soup - Vanilla and Spice
• Pear Parsnip and Fourme D'Ambert Tartines - Food and Wine
• Pork with Caramelized Pear and Parsnip - Donna Hay
Related: Seasonal Spotlight: Parnsnips
(Image: Food Network Magazine)