Parsnips by the picco-load

We took a trip to see our new friends at Freshgro, to hear all about the parsnips they’ve grown in the pursuit of maximum tastiness. 

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Parsnip pros

The growers over at Freshgro in Nottingham produce all sorts of crops you might not usually see. This definitely applied when we went to visit them recently: they introduced us to their ‘piccolo’ parsnips. 

Grown with the aim of making the most flavourful parsnips possible, this is a variety that’s brand new to us, but we’re excited to say that they’ll be in most boxes through much of December.

Taste, aced

Piccolo parsnips are rarely grown in the UK, because they aren’t quite as versatile as others. They’re also a little less resistant to disease while growing, and a bit less hardy, meaning they can't always withstand Britain’s famously…er, balmy weather conditions.

What they are, though, is seriously tasty, featuring a scrumptious sweetness instead of the usual woody flavour. In fact, the piccolo variety is grown for pure taste. The FreshGro team cooked some up for us during our visit – Tony from our sourcing team isn’t usually a big ‘snip fan, but even he was raving about them.

These ‘snips are a real festive find, that’s for sure. The piccolos are a pretty premium parsnip variety, so they’re generally sold to restaurants who are after the tastiest veg.

‘Snips of all shapes and sizes

Sadly though, they’ve only been wanting smaller ‘snips lately – we’ve been rescuing anything “too big” or “too odd” before it can go to waste. Big parsnips, even bigger flavour.

Whether you’re planning a hearty roast dinner or taking on a tarte tatin, these piccolos can really put some pep in your meal prep. Keep your eyes peeled for them in your box, and click here for our favourite parsnip-based recipes.

Plenty of parsnips?

Try these parsnip packed recipes

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Smashed Roast Parsnips

Squashing the parsnips before roasting gives them more surface area and transforms them into this crispy golden side dish. Served with sweet honey, thyme, crumbled feta and flaky sea salt, they'd be perfect as a snack or alongside any recipe. Try them as something different with your Sunday roast, or with BBQs and salads.

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Celery, Onion, and Parsnip Mac and Cheese

This mac and cheese is creamy and packed with flavour (and veg!). With celery, onion and parsnip, it's creamy, crunchy and mega comforting. 

Croquettes on a plate

Curried Parsnip & Paneer Croquettes

This Indian-inspired recipe makes a great dinner party dish. The parsnips are boiled, grated and mixed with grated paneer/tofu and spices. They're turned into croquettes and fried until crispy, then served with spicy yoghurt or chutney.