Parsnips aren't just delicious - they're great value for money! And for a tasty snack, it's hard to beat deep-fried parsnips crisps.
- 3 large parsnips, scrubbed clean
- Vegetable or corn oil for deep-frying
- 2tsp sea salt
Top and tail the parsnips, leaving the skin on, unless it’s very brown. Using a sharp mandolin (the Japanese ones are the best), slice the parsnips lengthways as thinly as possible, then dry the strips with a clean tea towel. If you don’t possess a mandolin, use a swivel vegetable peeler instead.
Heat about an 8cm depth of vegetable oil in a deep-fat fryer or heavy-based saucepan to 180ºC. Deep-fry the parsnip slices in the hot fat, a handful at a time, stirring occasionally to ensure that they don’t stick together, for about 2-3 mins until they colour.
As soon as they are ready, remove the parsnip crisps with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Immediately season generously with the sea salt, crushing it in your fingertips as you sprinkle it on. The parsnips may appear soft as you remove them from the oil, but once drained they will dry out and crisp up. Serve as soon as they are all cooked.
Top tip for making Mark Hix’s parsnip crisps with sea salt
These crisps are great as snacks, or to serve as an accompaniment to game birds. Parsnips are very versatile - try them sliced and baked with grated cheese and cream for a tasty vegetarian bake to accompany meaty or game dishes. They also make delicious, nourishing soups - either flavourful broths packed with other vegetables, too, or creamy soups with a subtle hint of spice.