Sep 29

Roasted Parsnip “Fries” with Curry Salt

in Appetizers, Events, Fruits & Vegetables, Recipes by Type, Side Dish

Roasted Parsnip Fries with Curry Salt

As it gets easier and easier for us to buy produce from around the world when it would otherwise be out of season locally, and our food becomes increasingly more processed, I love that there are companies pushing back and trying to provide us with other affordable options.  I’ve been trying to make small changes in the way my own family eats (come take the October Unprocessed challenge with me!), increasing our consumption of local foods as we decrease consumption of processed foods.  Last week I attended a STAR Olive Oil tasting at Todd and Diane’s (White On Rice Couple) gorgeous new studio.  The party was to celebrate STAR Fine Foods launching a new extra virgin olive made completely from olives grown here in California.  We got to sample a variety of olive oils, experiencing the difference that region makes on the final flavor of the oils.

STAR Olive Oil Tasting Party

I loved the new oil, so I went out the next morning and picked up a big bottle at the grocery store to experiment with in my kitchen.  STAR Fine Foods is a 113-year old California olive oil importer founded by the Giurlani family in San Francisco in 1898.  Despite being a California company, STAR has always imported their oils from around the world, until now.  The California olive oil is delicious with a light fruity taste and surprisingly peppery finish.  I’ve enjoyed playing around with it in different foods (it makes a fantastic vinaigrette).  I love my butter, but have been trying to use less of it, taking cues from the Mediterranean diet.  Olive oil only has 2 grams of saturated fat (the “bad” fat) per tablespoon as opposed to butter’s whopping 7 grams.  The main type of fat in olive oil is monounsaturated fat, which may even provide certain health benefits.

STAR Extra Virgin Olive Oil and California Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Yesterday morning I was up early to go walking with a friend.  Before I left, I popped in on Twitter to see what was going on in the world and saw an exchange between Gordon Ramsay and a man living in the UK about seasoning roasted parsnips with curry.  Out of curiosity, I tweeted Ramsay, saying that I had never thought of seasoning roasted parsnips with curry, and asked if he added anything else.  Ramsay replied, saying that he just used curry powder and salt.  The simple combo sounded so good that I decided it was going to be on our dinner menu.

Parsnips and olive oil

I peeled a pile of parsnips and cut them into sticks, then tossed them in a bit of the California olive oil with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and roasted them in the oven until they were tender and the edges were turning golden brown.

Spread parsnip fries in roasting pan

While they were in the oven I mixed up a simple curry salt.  (Seriously simple . . . yep, you guessed it, just curry powder and salt. Would I ever lie to you?) The parsnip “fries” got a healthy sprinkling of the curry salt when I pulled them out of the oven.  We ate them for dinner last night with a simple pan-fried steak.

Roasted Parsnip Fries and Steak

I’ve never seen non-Japanese food disappear from the Fujiling dinner plates so fast!  I was one happy mama. Not only did my kids eat everything on their plates without complaint and the meal was hassle-free made with things in season and a bit of liquid love from California olives, but the food was so good that I’m still thinking about it.  This is why I love the food community.  If it weren’t for Gordon Ramsay sharing his ideas and expertise, I wouldn’t have put incredible roasted parsnips on my dinner table last night that were better than any deep-fried french fry I could have fed my girls. Roasted parsnips are delicious as they are, but the curry salt elevated them to a completely new level of taste bud tingling perfection.  I believe that food should be about love, so I’m passing on the love by sharing this with you.  Eat up—parsnips are good for you.

Healthy Roasted Parsnip Fries with Curry Salt

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Roasted Parsnip “Fries” with Curry Salt

Makes about 4 servings

For the roasted parsnips:
1 1/2 pounds parsnips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the curry salt:
2 1/2 teaspoons fleur de sel
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Peel and cut the parsnips into sticks (about 3-inches long). Toss the sticks with the olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

3. Spread the sticks in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tender and golden at the edges.

4. Make the curry salt: Mix the fleur de sel and curry powder together.

5. Sprinkle the roasted parsnip “fries” with curry salt, to taste.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

lance1971 September 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm

That looks pretty good. Never had a parsnip before. I make sweet potatoes this way and love them. Will give it a try.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) September 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm

@lance1971, My guess is that you will LOVE parsnips! They’re like a cross between carrots and potatoes and are naturally sweet. Let me know if you try them!


Amber September 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm

Oooh, I got some parsnips in my CSA basket last week and made some fries with them, they were SO good! I’ll have to try the curry sprinkle. Thanks for the idea!


Fuji Mama (Rachael) September 29, 2011 at 7:38 pm

@Amber, YAY! I feel bad for parsnips…they’re like the undiscovered wallflower that’s really a beauty queen. Why don’t more people know about them? They are so delicious!


LiztheChef September 29, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I discovered parsnips while vacationing in Ireland – and have never looked back. Thanks for the great “twist” and “tweak” here on parsnips…yum. They are cheap and “unprocessed”. I have a great recipe for soup…


Fuji Mama (Rachael) September 29, 2011 at 7:40 pm

@LiztheChef, I love that! I discovered them while living in Paris. I would go to the market and buy whatever was cheapest (because I was a poor student with no money!) and cook random dinners on the nights I wasn’t eating with my host family. One night I made a big pot of vegetable soup and used a bunch of parsnips. TOTAL lightbulb moment! Um, so when are you sharing that soup recipe?!? :)


Aviva Goldfarb September 29, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Curried parsnip fries? What a fantastic idea! I think I have a few parsnips in the fridge and I’m going to give this a try tomorrow.


Fuji Mama (Rachael) September 29, 2011 at 7:35 pm

@Aviva Goldfarb, I know, right? It was one of those ideas that I heard and it made so much sense that I had to try it RIGHT THEN! LOL


[email protected] September 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Hi Rachael,

It was so good to see you (again!!) at the Star event. I LOVE parsnips and love how this recipe “came about”! Parsnips are truly wonderful and you are right -they are very underappreciated!


Meg T September 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Definitely going to give this a try. I love parsnips and love that you were “tweeting” with Chef Ramsay : ) Thanks for the recipe!


Deborah September 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm

I would have never thought to cook parsnips like this – I have got to try it!! And I would have just been giddy that Gordon Ramsay tweeted me! :)


chinmayie @ love food eat September 29, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Yum! I really like these innovative fries recipes a lot more than the standard potato ones! curry salt sounds like a great seasoning!


Amy September 30, 2011 at 12:12 am

I love the natural sweetness form roasted parsnips. Yours with curry salt sounds especially delicious. I’ll try that next time. :) Thanks for sharing. I love your challenge to no processed food! :)


Jeanette September 30, 2011 at 4:35 am

So interesting – going to have to try these!


Fuji Papa September 30, 2011 at 5:11 am

I’m putting in an order for some next time we are together. I love the parsnip variation from sweet potato/potato and the curry variation on top of that.


Stephanie @ okie dokie artichokie September 30, 2011 at 5:35 am

Those look mighty tasty and I love how simple they truly were to make! I’m gonna have to try out those olive oils, especially see if I can get my hands on the California one. It’s always a challenge to find a great, inexpensive all-around olive oil, you know? :) Thanks for sharing!


Lindsay September 30, 2011 at 8:13 am

Rach, what a gorgeous site! I grew up in Tokyo and found your site through tasty kitchen – Did you know that there’s a fabulous restaurant in Omotesando called FujiMama? It’s Asian fusion and SO good. I immediately missed it when I found your site!


Chris @nestlefoodie September 30, 2011 at 8:18 am

I LOVE this! This is how I prefer to cook – fresh (local when possible) ingredients with simple prep/cook. The STAR Fine Foods party looked fabulous – learning, tasting, networking. Can’t beat it!


Paula - bell'alimento September 30, 2011 at 9:13 am

Must try these asap! Lurve!


Tara @ Unsophisticook September 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

We just got parsnips in our CSA basket last night and I was wondering what on earth to do with them. Will try this — thanks!


Candace Karu September 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Love parsnips! Love curry! What a great combo. Thanks for this.


Deb September 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

This sounds great! I LOVE parsnips!!! But you simply must try some Himalayan pink salt. I get mine from Sustainable Sourcing The flavor is so much better than regular salt! Thanks for sharing this recipe—I can’t wait to try it!


marla October 1, 2011 at 6:59 am

Love parsnip fries and the unprocessed challenge. Had a blast with you at the Star party. By the way: your are always a STAR in my eyes ;) xxoo
Let’s meet for lunch again soon, K?!


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. October 2, 2011 at 10:04 am

love these!


Barbara | Creative Culinary October 9, 2011 at 7:41 am

I am something of a baked sweet potato fiend but now want to try parsnips too. I’m working with Star to do a Denver restaurant event in a couple of weeks so I just happen to have some of their olive oil on my counter right now. Seems prophetic especially since I love curry. Great idea!


Anne (@notasupermom) October 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm

This sounds delicious. I wounder if it would be good with sweet potatoes.


shelly (cookies and cups) October 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I love parsnips! I would have never thought to make them like this! And curry salt? Yes please!


Roxana GreenGirl October 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I love to use parsnips in the kitchen. Such a great idea to combine these sweet root veggie with curry powder! Delicious!


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