Parsnip is not hugely popular in this country, probably because it doesn't feature much in local dishes, yet it is versatile enough to be used in a number of dishes and tasty enough to stand on its own, as in today's rather unusual starter.
We actually use parsnips a lot in soups and stews and it invariably joins the rest of the gang when preparing a roasting pan full of veggies for the oven.
However, for today's recipe it is served on its own, just lightly crumbed and accompanied by a tangy avocado dip. I like the cheeky bite of fresh chilli and creamy avo but if you have a delicate palate you can leave it out or substitute with a little sweet chilli sauce or just a few drops of Tabasco sauce.
Served with chunks of warm garlic loaf, makes this a hearty winter snack which takes very little effort or time.
To serve four portions you need:
4-8 parsnips, peeled and sliced into 7cm long pieces about 2cm thick
2 eggs well beaten
½ cup coarse bread crumbs
Olive oil for frying
Salt and coarse black pepper
For the dip
1 large ripe avo
1 red or green chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons sour cream
Juice of one lemon or lime
Salt and black pepper
Make the avo dip first by mixing all the ingredients well.
Spoon into a dish, cover and set aside.
For the parsnip chips
Pour the crumbs into a shallow dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Dip the parsnips chips into the egg, roll in the bread crumbs and set aside.
When all the chips have been crumbed heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the parsnip chips in two batches until golden brown.
Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain excess oil.
Serve immediately with the avo sauce.