Parsnips – I used to only know of them as a beige, carrot-like root vegetable. Before I tried them, I had no idea how versatile they could be. Often overlooked, parsnips take on other flavors really well, such as in this recipe with truffle oil. They also make a wonderful substitute for French fries. These crispy parsnip fries will make you forget about fast food.
Small to medium size parsnips are the best choice for cooking. They should be firm and without blemishes. Older or larger parsnips usually develop a woody central core that should be cut out. Parsnips can be boiled, roasted, or sautéed.
How to Make Parsnip Fries
For this recipe, first peel the parsnips and then cut them into thin fries. Toss the chopped parsnips with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then bake for 20 minutes.
To get crispy fries, I have found that the next best step is to increase the oven temperature and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, but watch closely to make sure the fries do not burn. The baking time can vary greatly depending on your oven and also on the size of the fries.
The last step (before devouring) is to toss the crispy fries with a touch of truffle oil and fresh parsley. Truffle oil is high quality olive oil that has been infused with either black or white truffles. The oil should be added only after the cooking is done, as a finishing oil. It’s definitely a treat, since the product can be expensive, but the earthy flavor is absolutely amazing.
French fries were very difficult for me to give up on the Paleo diet, mainly because of my addiction to salty foods. Luckily, a healthier alternative exists that is still Paleo-friendly. These parsnip fries take it one step further with the addition of a little truffle oil. A little goes a long way.
- 4 medium parsnips, peeled
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp truffle oil
- 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the peeled parsnips into thin fries. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- Turn the fries over and place back in the oven. Turn up the heat to 450 degrees F. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until crispy, watching closely to make sure that the fries do not burn.
- Place the fries in a large bowl and toss with the parsley and truffle oil. Serve warm, topped with additional sea salt if desired.
More Good French Fries Substitutes
1. Spicy Baked Parsnip Fries
Parsnips can easily become a favorite snack when tossed with a little paprika and baked to crispiness in the oven. This parsnip fry recipe serves 2-3 people as a side dish to a meal, but it is also great as an afternoon snack, in which case it might only be one portion. Serve with spicy mayonnaise or ketchup.
4 large parsnips, peeled
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp paprika
Pinch of chili powder
Salt, for sprinkling
Fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the peeled parsnips into thin fries. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil, chili powder, and paprika. Spread out in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. Turn the fries over and place back in the oven. Turn up the heat to 475 degrees F. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until crispy, watching closely to make sure that the fries do not burn.
2. Baked Jicama Fries
If you miss casually munching on French fries this is the recipe for you. Jicama has a different, slightly crispier texture than potatoes, but these baked jicama fries taste great with a bit of ketchup. They can be enjoyed as a healthy snack or served alongside grilled burgers.
1 medium jicama
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp chili powder
Pinch of smoked paprika
1 tbsp lime juice
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the jicama and slice into long sticks. Place into a large bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients except the lime juice to the bowl and toss well to coat. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once. Drizzle with lime juice and serve hot.