not just for Christmas .....

I took a trip down to the allotment the other day. 
It was muddy. Very muddy. 
Hardly surprising though, given the very wet winter we have had so far.
My reason for going was to dig up the remaining parsnips, but a pleasant surprise awaited me.
Several carefully dismantled raised beds were piled neatly by the shed. Wondering where they had come from, I glanced around the neighbouring plots and realised the one adjacent had been totally cleared.
There was no-one around to check with, but I am assuming the gentleman who had the plot could no longer manage it. 
If that is the case, I shall miss his jolly chatter, but it was a kind gesture to donate his raised beds to us.

Back to the parsnips. It has to be said that they were not the best!
A bad attack of canker had resulted in brown/orange patches on them, but I managed to salvage enough to make some parsnip patties.
 Roasted to a golden hue, parsnips play an important part in Christmas dinner, but they are much more versatile than their traditional festive role.
They make delicious creamy soups or in this case crisp little patties - a vegetarian alternative to a burger!

The recipe is based on one by Nigel Slater published several years ago in Sainsbury's magazine .

700g parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
275g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tblsp plain flour
ground nutmeg
1 teasp garam masala
25g butter
3 tblsp oil for frying 
salt and pepper

Cook the potatoes and parsnips separately in boiling water until just tender. Drain and allow to rest for a few moments to evaporate any excess water, then beat together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
Add the flour, then season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and the garam masala.
Form into 8 small patties. This is easier with lightly floured hands.
Leave to cool for about 40 minutes then fry in the oil and butter until crisp and golden.
Drain on kitchen paper before serving.

The recipe made enough for two meals for mr digandweed and me.
 I decided that they needed something sharp and fresh to accompany them.
First time around, I served them with a lemony avocado and tomato salsa and a lightly fried egg and the second time with a sauce of yoghurt, horseradish  and capers and a green salad.

Parsnips, it is said, taste better after a frost. There's been very few of those so far this winter. But that could be about to change. There is talk of snow.....

annjenny x


  1. You're right, some of us only associate parsnips with Christmas lunch. I don't buy them at any other time which is daft when I think about it. They look delicious so I'm definitely giving these a go.

  2. They look amazing, one of my favourites is parsnip soup. I also love them in stews and casseroles. What a great neighbour you had so generous to leave the raised beds for you.

  3. I agree. Parsnips are much underrated. We have them in vegetable crumbles, and with apples in soup. This looks delicious. We had trouble growing them this year, but luckily I bought some this morning so can try this out. Thanks!

  4. They look absolutely delicious, what a great idea. I'm determined to grow some next year, it must be so nice to have some allotment veg at this time of year. All I have are leeks at the moment. How nice that you were give some raised beds. Allotment people are the best! CJ xx

  5. LOVE the look of these and thanks to Instagram, I have discovered you now, and have added you to my Blog List too! Karen

    1. Hello Karen, lovely to meet you here in blogland too and thank you for adding me to your blog roll.

    2. Hello Karen, lovely to meet you here in blogland too and thank you for adding me to your blog roll.


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