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Parsnips are one of the few vegetables native to Britain. They were ignored elsewhere until they were "discovered" by the Romans who found them very tasty. They became popular throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, specially during Lent when they were consumed instead of meat. Parsnips are sweet and look a bit like yellow carrots. In classic English cuisine there is no Sunday roast beef without roasted parsnips on the side, or as an accompaniment to lamb or pork in a parsnip tomato bake.

You can use parsnips to flavor stews, soups, boiled dinners and in making mirepoix for braised meats. Boiled and pureed parsnips with a bit of butter and a dash of Madeira are truly good. They will be in season all winter so it's not a bad idea to freeze a few while in their prime, they will have to be blanched, cooled and dried before freezing.

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