Pastinaca sativa

Parsnips are like a carrot’s misunderstood country cousin. They have a richer more earthy flavour that also holds a surprising amount of sweetness and complexity. In my books, no winter soup or stew is complete without the addition of a few parsnips. And roasted parsnip is a true delicacy. These biennial plants take a long time to germinate and like carrots, they need consistent moisture during germination. Once the plant starts to grow and produce sprightly leaves that look very similar to leaf parsley, it is time to thin them as the roots need plenty of room and are left to grow for a very long time. The frost sweetens the roots and they can be mulched heavily and lifted out of the soil well into the winter.