My dad’s not much of a cook. But I have him to thank for honey and Marmite on toast (Homite™), which he passed on as his secret hangover cure. Not only is it extremely effective in that form, but it’s actually a surprisingly tasty flavour combination, and the mix of malty yeast extract and sweet honey has huge potential, including as a glaze for roast parsnips. I’m convinced even Marmite haters will enjoy this, especially next to slow-cooked beef, roast pork or anything to do with a chicken.
After trialling numerous methods, I can announce that parsnips are best roasted from fresh, rather than parboiled like potatoes, and that if you want crisp edges, don’t add salt before roasting, as that tends to make them soggy. Also, although there are many recipes out there that add maple or honey to parsnips while they’re cooking, their edges never seem to be crisp and they often end up burnt and bitter. Accordingly, this Homite™ glaze is applied once they’re out of the oven.
A further geeky detail: my preference is to cut parsnips lengthways for roasting into long pieces. This means they provide several different textures: soft, chewy and crisp. If you like things a little more even, ensure your wedges are all broadly the same thickness by cutting the thinner third off at the point the parsnip begins to thicken, and the rest into equal wedges.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 900 g parsnips
- 2 tablespoons Marmite
- 2 tablespoons runny honey
- 2 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil
- Preheat the oven to 220˚C/Fan 200˚C/Gas 7. Pour the vegetable oil into a shallow roasting tin that will fit the parsnips in one layer, and put the tray in the oven for 5 minutes to heat the oil. Peel the parsnips and halve or quarter them lengthways into long wedges from root to tip, depending on how big your parsnips are.
- Take the hot tin out of the oven and carefully roll the parsnips in the sizzling fat. Ensure each rests on one of its flat sides, then roast at the top of the oven for 30–40 minutes, turning them after 15 minutes, until soft and golden, with crisp, brown edges.
- Meanwhile, mix the Marmite, honey and rapeseed oil together; gently warm the mixture in a small saucepan if it’s rather cold and thick. When the parsnips are cooked, spoon the glaze over them, mix well and serve immediately.