Rabbit Food


I present my dinner tonight, Curried Carrots and Parsnips Braised in Orange Juice. (Click image for curried glory)


It's a fairly easy dish; simply peel and chop about a pound of carrots and parsnips (I made a huge amount, so I actually used four pounds of mixed carrots and parsnips. The ingredient ratios, however, are adjusted for one pound). Place your chopped root vegetables in a sauce pan, and to it add a quarter cup of orange juice, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of sugar, and a bit of salt and pepper. Turn the heat to high until the juice boils, then cover and turn the heat back down to the low side of medium. Allow it to cook for about five minutes. Remove the lid and turn the heat up a skosh. Now add a teaspoon ground ginger, a teaspoon ground coriander, a teaspoon cumin, a teaspoon cardomom, half a teaspoon cayenne, and a half teaspoon ground mustard (the spice, not the condiment). Stir until the spices are blended in. Keep an eye on it and stir periodically until the juice has evaporated and only the oil remains. Leave it on a bit longer, making sure the carrots and parsnips are tender (they should give no tangible resistance when you stick a fork in them). Turn off the heat, stir, and serve once cool enough to eat.

This dish is very flexible; if you only have carrots, use carrots. If you only have parsnips, use parsnips (though I find the mixture of the two works quite well). If you don't have all the spices, it's not a big deal. If you'd like, you might also throw in cinnamon, turmeric, or similar spices(I'd use a bit less than a teaspoon of cinnamon and somewhat more than a teaspoon of turmeric, if I were doing that). And of course you can adjust the spices to taste. I actually put in somewhat more Cayenne, but I think half a teaspoon is probably a reasonable amount; it adds spice without overwhelming the dish.

The dish tastes best when hot, but you can refrigerate it without too much loss in flavor. If you have tortillas handy, leftover curried carrots and parsnips make a fine filling for a burrito.

Here's a list of ingredients, but please don't avoid making the dish if you lack any of them.

A pound or so carrots, parsnips, or a mix
1/4 cup orange juice (you can use water if you like)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon mustard


That sounds good, and I'm currently covering my mouth with my hands in horror and wondering why I just said that. I have a long, proud history of unrelenting loathing for anything that can be said to be curried to any degree. Still, it sounds (and looks) good.

What do parsnips taste like? Do they cook in about the same time as carrots? If one tried parsnips and didn't like them, do you think one could substitute potatoes or daikon or something along those lines (with cooking times adjusted if necessary, of course)?

Parsnips are largely carrot-compatible. They're essentially big white carrots with thicker thick ends and skinnier skinny ends. I can't say for certain about cooking time, but for this dish I mixed sliced carrots and parsnips together in the same pot, and when they were finished neither was notably more done than the other, so I think they cook in the same amount of time. What's more, everywhere I've read about parsnips has said that you can freely substitute them for carrots, so I would imagine there's no appreciable difference in cooking.

Preparation-wise, parsnips are a bit more work than carrots. They have thicker skins, and so you have to put a bit more work into peeling them (though not as much as a turnip or a butternut squash). They're also a bit firmer and take more force to chop. Still, they're by no means hard to work with, just harder than carrots.

As for taste, they're very similar to carrots, but slightly sweeter. The texture is where they really differ. Parsnips have a sort of inner and outer layer; the outer layer is starchy, like a potato, and breaks up somewhat when you cook it. The inner part, though, is fibrous, and is not unlike the stalks of cauliflower in texture.

I'd recommend giving parsnips a try. I think potatoes could work well, too, especially given the compatible texture between parsnips and potatoes.

I've never cooked with a daikon raddish, though I have one in my fridge right now. Any suggestions on what to do with it?

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This page contains a single entry by Zach published on February 12, 2006 12:31 AM.

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