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Parsnips were sitting in my fridge and I really had no idea what to do with them. I know I wanted to cook parsnips in a recipe, since to me they taste like soap alone. When baked or cooked, the parsnips do take on a sort of buttery flavor with a slight nutty sweetness. There are some people on the internet that state they taste like a white carrot but I’m not sure where these people are getting their variety from because carrots taste like candy when cooked. It’s hard to find ideas on the internet for adding parsnips to healthy recipes. The only ones I found were for parsnip “fries” and parsnip soup. Why is that? Parsnips are delicious and really add that extra punch of potassium and dietary fiber that we all need in our diets.

So, I came up with the idea of making gnocchi one cool day, along with some potatoes to add to the nutrition bank. When boiled, parsnips can be easily confused with potatoes, in appearance only. Luckily, the ingredients I tossed together came out just fine and no one really noticed the difference besides a slight nutty sweet flavor as a slight after-tone. These parsnip gnocchi were much less firm but still held together just like a noodles. We make so many that we actually froze some, baked some, fried some and had a batch just out of the boiling water. They were perfect each method! Word of warning though, the gnocchi do get a big soggy if stored along with a sauce so make sure to keep them separated when possible.

Serves 8-10 hungry people

1 pd white potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1 pd parsnips, washed and peeled
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ to ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1. Clean and wash the potatoes and parsnips. Cut into chunks.
2. Boil until soft on the inside, around 10 minutes or less. This is similar to making mashed potatoes so use your favorite method.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients together and mix with a spoon or better yet with your hands. (Sorry Mom, I know you will freak if you read this…)
4. Roll dough into long tubes. The dough will be soft so if it’s too difficult to handle, go ahead and place the dough in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes and then bring out to continue with the process. This does take a bit of time, but it’s totally worth it.
5. Cut the rolls in 1-2 inch segments. The gnocchi will look like bloated white tootsie rolls.
6. Depends on the time you have or what utensils you have in your kitchen, go ahead and form the gnocchi. (Here’s a Video by Chow on Youtube.com that shows how to do it.)
7. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently place the formed gnocchi in the boiling water and when they rise to the top, they are done.
8. Place the finished gnocchi on a plate and serve when all is finished.

Note: When slightly dry, go ahead and place the finished gnocchi on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Freeze overnight and the next day go ahead and place in a sealable container. Place back in the freezer and you have a ready made meal. Just pour some tomato sauce over the top or pesto and you have a full meal.