Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 720: Parsnips galore

I've recently been having quite a love affair with the parsnip, that white winter root vegetable that is the more nutritious cousin of a carrot. Yes I've always been a fan of eating accordingly to what vegetables are in season but in other winters, parsnips have made guest appearances, not been a staple. Why this winter have they become a staple?

Well they are high in potassium which is good for those of us distance runners out there as it helps to prevent cramping, stimulates muscle activity and movement, and helps to balance the fluid and electrolytes in the body. Yes folks, potassium is key for runners and well athletes and people in general. Where else can you find potassium in case you're not into parsnips? The most obvious and common place is bananas. Ok what other key ingredients are present in the parsnip? They are very high in dietary fiber.

Now that I've told you some of the vitamin and nutrient benefits of parsnips, how do I like to prepare this crunchy, slightly sweet, butterscotchy, slightly herbaceously cardamom-my veggie? How about roasted with some EVOO, herbs, and a nice grating of the nutty fabulous Uplands Pleasant Ridge Reserve? This aged raw cow's milk cheese from Wisconsin is modeled on the great Alpine cheeses like Beaufort and Gruyere but is totally its own unique entity of American artisanal cheesemaking greatness. Round and roasty, nutty, buttery and butterscotchy, with a nice light rustic farmsteady finish this is the perfect cheesy companion for my winter root vegetable of choice. Grated over the top of parsnips while roasting in the oven, the combination will be warming and delish. I like to top the cheesy roasted parnsips with a small arugula slivered almond salad for a bright spicy vegetal kick. A great vegetarian simple meal for one. Excellent with a nice glass of red Bordeaux.

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