(raw) Parsnip, chickpea and goats cheese salad

by admin on January 22, 2009 · 21 comments

Post image for (raw) Parsnip, chickpea and goats cheese salad

This week has seen something of a glut parsnips in our house, having bought a few in the shops and then been sent a few more by Abel and Cole who kindly sent me one of their fruit and veg boxes to try.  Parsnips have been popping up in the expected places such as soups and a few less expected like the tiny cubes dotted through a winter frittata along with leeks and smoked cheddar.  And then finally there was this lunchtime salad using raw parsnip, chickpeas and goats cheese coated in a honey mustard dressing.

Raw parsnip seems like a different vegetable from a soft, caramelised roasted parsnip.  A far feistier entity indeed; crunchy and unexpectedly peppery. I had some doubts about sharing this recipe; I’m not big on wacky ingredients, even when they are nutritious, and I’m definitely not a raw food diet advocate.  But then I saw Sally Schneider had used raw parsnip in her book The Improvisational Cook, in a Celery Root, Parnsip and Beet Slaw recipe.  Sally is a former chef, regular contributor to The Splendid Table foodie podcast and all round culinary genius, ergo it must be OK. 

A couple of recipe notes:

  • This tastes better the day after the parsnip has mellowed a little and the flavours have had time to mix. Perfect for making in the evening and taking for lunch the next day.
  • If you use a julienne peeler you will easily be able to “feel” if the parsnip has a woody heart to it. It’s fine to include this woody core when you are cooking parsnips but for a raw dish such as this I’d leave it out.
  • This salad is my first foray into raw parsnips and I’m sure there are many as yet undiscovered combinations that would work just as well.  Raw parsnip has quite a kick to it which led me to pairing it with mellow ingredients like the pulses and goats cheese.

honey, mustard and thyme dressingOther good things to do with a parsnip:

Recipe for Parsnip, chickpea and goats cheese salad

Lemon thyme is lovely with parsnip, if you can get hold of it

Serves 2

2 small parsnips, peeled and julienned (or cut into very fine strips)
1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp pine nuts
50g goats cheese

For the dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp grain mustard
1 tsp honey
1 heaped tsp thyme leaves

Mix the dressing ingredients together with a fork.  Put the julienned parsnips and chickpeas together in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.

Put the pine nuts into a pan and toast on a low heat until golden brown.

Add the pine nuts to the other ingredients and finally add the crumbled goats cheese.

Best eaten the day after making.


Elaine January 23, 2009 at 17:13

Hi Sophie. Lovely photo & great recipe suggestions.
For me parsnips are a challenging vegetable but I’m trying to appreciate them because they’re in season. I’ve looked at various recipes this month, but your collection is the first that appeals to me, especially the salad because it’s simple and looks good. (I eat with my eyes, too.) I have 3 parsnips in my crisper & a spirit of adventure so I’m going to make this salad as part of my weekend kitchen session.
(I also like your suggestions to add parsnips to frittata.)
Thanks, Sophie.

kathryn January 23, 2009 at 21:25

Interesting, interesting Sophie. It has never crossed my mind to eat parsnips raw. Love the way you’ve paired them with chickpeas, goat’s cheese and pine nuts – so there’s a contrast of textures as well as flavours.
At the moment I can’t imagine what this tastes like – can’t get the flavours set in my head. Which means (of course) I’m going to have to try it out. And I’m very glad you’ve shared it.

Johanna January 24, 2009 at 02:22

This look really interesting – my experience with parsnips has led me to believe I should be able to substitute them for carrots and yet I would far more readily use grated raw carrot in a salad – I had a really nice parsnip cake last year in a cafe and still would like to try making one – if you want another parsnip idea that sounds wacky but it did work!

ttfn300 January 24, 2009 at 02:46

hmm, i haven’t had many parsnips, but this salad looks so inticing, i just might have to give it a try :)

heather January 25, 2009 at 03:19

Always fabulous photography, recipes and information! I emailed you a couple months ago – the American in getting a Nutrition Master’s degree and soon to be Registered Dietitian. Well, I started my own blog and wanted to say hi again! Bravo to all the work you do. It is reflected in your blog.

recipes2share January 25, 2009 at 21:49

I have just discovered your blog & it is fab! I haven’t tried raw parsnip before and this looks delicious – thank you!

Wendy January 26, 2009 at 17:41

Raw parsnips? I’ve never considered such an idea before! Look forward to making thos for lunch soon.

shauna January 27, 2009 at 13:10

Sophie your photos are sooo beautiful. This looks mighty tasty :)

Melanie Thomassian January 28, 2009 at 02:25

Hey Sophie,
This is such an interesting recipe, like the other readers I hadn’t considered using raw parsnips before, although I do eat quite a lot of my veggies raw.
I imagine the seeded mustard and honey dressing would give this recipe a lovely taste..yum! Thanks for posting!

KimDaCook February 4, 2009 at 10:53

This is a very interesting dish indeed I have not ever eaten parsnips let alone raw ones but it just sounds like they all meant to be married together.

Cathy February 4, 2009 at 20:46

Do you have any suggestions on what to make with this? I could eat just this for dinner but I’d like to make this for some friends and I don’t think it will be enough. I suppose it would go well with a roasted chicken or fish, but do you have any other ideas?

Liberty February 5, 2009 at 00:57

I am so thrilled to have found you blog. Such amazing pictures and sinfully tempting recipes. Thank you!

Kim Cooking February 5, 2009 at 10:33

Your photos of your food are unbelievable, it makes one drool over the food and doesn’t help when its lunch time.

Cynthia February 6, 2009 at 21:13

This sounds like a great winter dish. I also have never used raw parsnips, but what the heck, why not? It certainly looks tasty.

we are never full February 9, 2009 at 01:16

this is gorgeous. i am a huge lover of parsnips but i have to admit i’ve never thought about eating them completely raw. we’ve eaten them warmed up in thin ribbons w/ pasta, but not like this. i’m intrigued…

Kasey Fleisher February 11, 2009 at 17:09

This looks absolutely delicious. I’m always wondering what else I could do with parsnips. Thanks for the wonderful idea. Gorgeous blog!

Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. February 11, 2009 at 22:57

This is my first time on your blog. Don’t remember even how I got here ;)
The recipe sound great. I never thought of using raw parsnip.
I love that you give options for other recipes using the ingredient.

kathryn July 3, 2009 at 01:57

Just ate it and absolutely loved. Found some baby parsnips, which were quite sweet and less fiery, but no wooden cores either.
You know what the best bit is? The thyme – my oh my, it works brilliantly with all the other ingredients.
Thanks for opening my mind to raw parsnips Sophie!

Ms Gourmet July 26, 2009 at 00:45

Would have never thought to eat a parsnip raw! Fennel and celeriac yes, but no, never parsnip. I can imagine how much better this salad would taste the day after having been left in that fabulous dressing!

Ian December 3, 2011 at 23:53

It was some years ago that I came across a recipe that used raw parsnip but I lost it before I got a chance to try it.
Then tonight I was talking to an American friend who has never tried roasted parsnips. She asked me if parsnips could be eaten raw so I looked.
The recipe looks very tasty as it stands although I’m not a big fan of chick peas so I might well experiment with using either kidney beans or haricot beans instead.
Good and tasty recipe though and nice to see you source from an organic supplier

laurasmess June 8, 2013 at 02:49

Hi Sophie, I had no idea that you could eat parsnips raw!!! The salad looks beautiful though, and it has so many ingredients that I love. Definitely going to give this a go! Thanks!

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