Parsnip “Popcorn”

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You know how parsnips taper dramatically from top to tail, becoming slender halfway down? This snack is a perfect use for the lower skinny ends. When thinly sliced and baked in a low oven, the parsnip rounds curl up into pieces the size of popped corn. Sprinkle generously with your favorite flavored salt or spice—I like garam masala—and find a movie!

Buy your parsnips from a farmers market or another source of organic produce so that you can leave the skins on. After a gentle scrub, they clean up nicely and you’ll get the added bonus of extra flavor and nutrients.

Makes about 2 cups, to serve 2 hungry moviegoers
Start to finish: about 1 hour

img_1061Recipe:

4 small parsnips (or the “tails” of 3 large)
4 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 teaspoon garam masala, optional

Preheat the oven to 275°F and line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or foil. Using a mandoline, thinly slice the parsnips into rounds ranging between 1/2 and 1 inch in diameter. You should get about 2 cups.

Put the parsnips in a bowl with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the garam masala if using, then toss to combine, making certain the slices are evenly coated. Arrange the rounds on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer without any overlap.

Place the trays in the oven and bake 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of your slices. When they are ready, the chips will have browned lightly, curled up, and become crunchy. Start checking them at 20 minutes to prevent burning.

When they are ready, remove the pans from the oven, sprinkle the chips with the remaining salt, and let them cool completely on the pans.

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