A bottom of the fridge parsnip lunch

by sophie on January 18, 2007

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Today was not a day to go out to buy something for lunch – the weather forecast said “damaging winds gusting 60 to 70mph” and it was not exaggerating. It was so bad that every so often the wind gusts through the roof and makes the hatch from the landing to the loft lift up and drop with a bang (boy did that scare the cat!).

Lunch was therefore something concocted from the remainders in the fridge. The last of the virtuous seasonal, organic and local parsnips fried in a little olive oil and thyme, with a dollop of cottage cheese on the side and finished off with a sprinkling of seeds. The whole thing was surprisingly good; the sourness of the cottage cheese complemented the sweet, caramelised parsnips and the seeds added a welcome crunch to the whole thing.

A parsnip is not renowned for being the most nutritionally virtuous vegetable but it is actually quite a hard worker and delivers a fair amount of thiamin, folate, potassium and vitamin C. The olive oil and seeds major in the better types of fat and the cottage cheese had been originally bought because of its virtues as a low calorie vegetarian, low-fat protein source. If you are interested in Glycaemic Index matters you may know that a parsnip has a very high GI (97!), however a parsnip is mainly water so you would have to eat a whole load of it to digest enough carbohydrate to cause you too much trouble (the whole glycaemic index/glycaemic load debate). There has also been some reasearch that suggests that the fat from the cottage cheese, seeds and oil will work to reduce the speed with which the glucose from the parnsip finds its way into the blood stream.

Recipe for Pan-friend parsnips with cottage cheese and seeds

Enough for 1 person.

1 large parsnip
1 tsp thyme leaves (or another woody herb)
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp mixed seeds
Cottage cheese (I had half a tub, approx 125g or 4oz)

Peel the parsnip and slice it finely. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut the parsnip in half and then cut the two resulting pieces in half again along their longest side. You can then place the pieces flat side down on the chopping board and easily cut thin slices.

Fry the parsnip slices and thyme in the olive oil on a medium heat for about 10 minutes until golden and soft, turning occasionally. Dish out the parsnips next to the cottage cheese and sprinkle the seeds over the parsnips.

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