Parsnips are one of those vegetables that are plentiful in our 6 months of winter, and by the end of the 6 months, I can get really tired of them. So I put on my thinking cap and decided to make parsnips so delicous that you’ll be reaching for more. To aid in my quest, I employed two of the yummiest ingredients I could think of: sumac spice – to provide some seasonal colour and a lovely citrus flavour, and pomegranate molasses, which is simple perfection with just one ingredient – reduced pomegranate juice.
Pomegranate molasses could be featured a lot more in Western cooking. It has a delicious sweet and sour taste which is put to use in many different ways in middle eastern cooking, such as in refreshing beverages to beat the heat in Israel, or combined with sumac to glaze a roast chicken in Persia, or in the (you absolutely must make this) red pepper and walnut Muhammara dip- one of the best dips I’ve ever tasted.
Parsnip Pomegranate Fries (aka Parsnip Candy)
Serves 2 as a side dish, or 1 as a large plate of fries
3 cups parsnip fries
pinch sea salt (plus more for serving)
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sumac spice
½ Tbsp plus ½ Tbsp pomegranate molasses
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
To make the fries:
– 2 large parsnips- use only the part that is wider than 1 inch- it makes for easier cutting
– quarter the parsnips and remove the tough inner core (place the quartered parsnip upright with widest part on the bottom, and run your knife from top to bottom)
– cut into 2 to 3 inch long fries, about ½ inch wide
- In a small bowl combine the spice, oil, ½ a tablespoon of the molasses and salt. Reserve the other ½ Tbsp of molasses for part way through the baking.
- To a large bowl add the parsnips and pour over the glaze and toss well to coat each fry.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove tray from the oven, flip the fries, then brush them with the remaining ½ Tbsp of pomegranate molasses.
- Return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!