Sam and I often wonder what we ate the first year we knew each other. We were tutoring middle schoolers, living in a tiny apartment with 5 (!!) other people, making <$15,000 a year, and waking up early enough to be at work at 7 am. Most days we stayed late, occasionally mustering up the energy to go to the gym before wearily trudging home. This was a dark culinary time. I only knew how to cook quesadillas. Sam relied on school lunches and frozen Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches. There is photographic evidence of our friend and housemate Emily eating Kraft macaroni and cheese accompanied by a wineglass of milk.
For lunch, I survived mostly on hummus. I ate so much hummus that I felt myself on a molecular level slowly transforming into a giant chickpea. (True story: I actually haven’t bought hummus since that year… It was 2014.)
We all go through phases with food. As a kid, I drank so much apple juice that I lost my taste for it. More recently, I tried to hop on the chia seed pudding bandwagon, but after a particularly disturbing incident in which I added about triple the required amount of chia seeds (do not try this at home), I had to hop off for good.
The summer after our glamorous year teaching in Boston, Sam and I went to Italy, where I fell head over heels in love with food. Upon my return, I looked at everything in the produce section with a newfound interest and curiosity. One of my first conquests was parsnip, which I grated and turned into one of my favorite ways to eat pasta. I absolutely love parsnips and still maintain that their incredible sweetness could be used in desserts. I hereby trademark the idea of parsnip ice cream, before it inevitably turns up on the shelves of some whitewashed creamery in Brooklyn.
For now, though, I’ll stick to these highly addictive parsnip chips. Their subtle sweetness is balanced by garlic powder, sea salt, and cracked pepper, all of which you probably have on your shelf right now. I use a mandoline slicer for these. A sharp knife will work as well, but it will take slightly longer and you won’t have the same uniformity. If you don’t have a mandoline, I highly recommend getting one! I purchased this one one at thanksgiving for sweet potato gratin, but I actually use it all the time! It makes slicing up radishes carrots, and any crunchy vegetable such a breeze! (Perfect for salads, pickling, etc).
These are savory-sweet, crispy, and salty. Made from a baked vegetable, but somehow just as delicious as Doritos…
- 5 large parsnips
- 1/4 C olive oil
- 1 T garlic powder
- 1 T flaky sea salt
- 1 T grinds of black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°
Using a vegetable peeler, peel parsnips and trim off the tips and stems. Using a mandoline slicer or very sharp knife, slice parsnips into 1/8 inch rounds, setting aside rounds that are smaller than a penny (these will shrink to a size too small to deal with, but save them to roast along with other root vegetables!)
Place sliced parsnip rounds in a large mixing bowl, add olive oil, and toss to coat evenly.
Add garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and continue to toss until the parsnip slices are fully coated with olive oil and seasonings.
Spread parsnip slices evenly on rimmed baking sheets, ideally so that each chip can be flat surface down. (I only have one baking sheet, so I roast them I two batches.)
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pan and, using a pair of tongs or your fingers, flip each chip over.
Bake for another 15 minutes, until chips are golden brown and crispy. Some slices will brown faster than others, so start checking at the 10 minute mark and remove any that are getting too dark. Spread finished chips directly onto a cutting board to cool.
Consume with abandon.
LITTLE SISTER LINKS:
1. Have you guys ever heard of Yolanda Gampp? I hadn’t either, but please set a side at least five minutes of your life to watch this woman make a cake. I LOVE HER. And want to become her best friend/kitchen assistant.
2. Ever noticed how most of my photos feature a gray linen napkin? I love the way cloth adds texture and depth to a photo. As much as I love my (single) napkin, I’ve been positively drooling over these…
3. Maybe it’s because the sun is shining today in Minneapolis, or maybe it’s the fact that Valentine’s Day is coming up, but I think I want to try baking Petit Fours!
4. Do you like chocolate chip cookies? (This is a trick question to test whether or not you are human). Do you have salted butter in your fridge? If not, go out and buy some because YOU MUST MAKE THESE COOKIES.