Parsnips make me happy, that was reason enough to make this dish.
I chose small, tender parsnips of about 5-8″ long, and not much more than 2″ across. The larger ones were in poor condition,
First, after peeling them, I cut them into 5 sections so they would cook evenly. If yours are larger, you may get more sections, though I do suggest removing the core on any parsnip over 3″ across or 10″ long. The cores are a challenge to eat no matter how good your teeth.
I used water to poach them, but added salt. A broth would have been a nice poaching medium, but I wanted to keep the preparation simple.
The flour is a locally milled whole wheat which I sieved to reduce the rough matter. The saffron steeped in warm water for about 15 minutes while I cut and poached the vegetables.
I chose to fry in grapeseed oil, which I keep on hand. It is a modernly available oil with minimal flavor and a high smoke point. My assumption is that olive oil or lard might have been more likely, but I did not wish to use either.
They are heavy, but they didn’t completely fail overnighting in the refrigerator. I reheated them in a dry pan in the oven at 300 for about 15 minutes.
Clean big ones well and remove the woody part in the middle, and boil them; when they are cooked, flour them and fry them in good oil- but before that, dry them well on a small board; then, to make them better, get a bowl of flour tempered with water, add sugar, cinnamon, saffron and rosewater, coat the parsnips with this mixture and put them in the pan with hot oil; then put spices on top of them and serve them properly seasoned like that.
1-2 lbs parsnips, cut into 1/2″x 4″ spears
1/2 c flour
1 TBS sugar (promotes browning, can be omitted)
6-8 threads of saffron, bloomed in 1/4 C warm water
1/2 tsp cinnamon (Canela)
1/2 – 1 oz rosewater, to taste
Water to complete batter
Sufficient oil to fry
salt and pepper, for after frying
A heated oven for the parsnips to rest in
knife and board for trimming
a cloth or wooden rest area for the parsnips to dry while making the batter
Place saffron in water before beginning other processes.
Choose small parsnips.
Wash and peel parsnips. Cut to half length, then cut the thick section into quarters the long way, so all 5 pieces are about the same size.
Poach the cut parsnips til cooked most of the way through, but not enough to turn to mush.
Allow to cool.
Make batter: by blending dry ingredients then adding liquid til it is a runny consistency. Set aside.
Prepare frying oil, taking the usual precautions.
Dip parsnips in batter, fry. (watch some videos if you are not comfortable with frying. Using a countertop frying machine makes sense)
Remove to a screen or cloth to give up excess oil.
Serve. We really like this with recipe 157 from Los Guisados; Horseradish http://www.florilegium.org/?http%3A//www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MANUSCRIPTS/Guisados1-art.html
Scully, Terence. The Neapolitan Recipe Collection. 4th ed. University of Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2000. Print.