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Mindful : December 2016
December 2016 mindful 27 When it comes to root vegetables, parsnips are somewhat of an anom- aly. They look like a cross between a carrot and a turnip, but when you bite into a parsnip, its powerful and unique flavor quickly proves your eyes wrong. They're a vegetable like no other and, let's be honest, not every- one takes to them immediately. My trick with parsnips is to use them as a flavor enhancer, not as a sole ingredient. They're deceptively sweet and flavorful, so a little bit can go a long way. Add one or two to a stew to infuse it with a bite of the unexpected; spread a few throughout a pan of roasted potatoes, turnips, and carrots for a hint of sweet in the savory. For my parsnip and carrot soup recipe, I use equal parts of the two vegetables, along with a balance of other sweet and savory ingredients like orange and apple, and onion and A Hint of Sweetness Recipes, food styling, photographs, and narrative by Béatrice Peltre. Find more of her work at latartinegourmande.com. garlic. The result is a dish with a com- plex and enticing marriage of flavors. Then there's my all-time favorite use for parsnips: as the base for a spiced cake. The recipe I've whipped up for you features parsnips in the same way you would make a carrot cake. It's a light, moist, and delight- fully healthy dessert, with no gluten or unrefined sugars. Serve it as an alternative to pie at Thanksgiving dinner or as your holiday cake at a family meal. Personally, I plan to bake one of these cakes at the beginning of my week, skip the icing, and enjoy a slice as a daily midmorning snack with a steaming mug of tea. À votre santé et bon appétit. ● Béatrice Peltre plays around with the unique flavors of parsnips. LIVING | food