When parsnips are fresh in the fall, they’re moist with a mild flavor and thin skins that don’t need to be removed before cooking. As they cure in storage, they lose some of their moisture as their natural sweetness intensifies. At this point, the skins are better removed.
2 lbs. parsnips
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. cured pork belly or smoked bacon
1 large or 2 medium onions, cut in medium dice
2 ribs celery, cut in medium dice
1 leek, white part only, cut in medium dice
1 tsp. mustard seed
1/2 tsp. caraway seed
1 scant Tbsp. winter savory, stemmed and chopped — about 2 sprigs
1 Tbsp. raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. molasses
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cut parsnips lengthwise (if peeling, do that first), then across at an angle for 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces.
Toss with oil, coriander, salt and pepper.
Place into roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes, or until the exterior of the parsnips caramelizes to a golden brown color and the interior is soft to the touch.
Remove from oven.
Meanwhile, medium dice, or slice across into matchsticks, the pork belly or smoked bacon.
Render in a heavy-bottomed skillet at medium-low heat until just starting to crisp.
Remove meat from pan with slotted spoon, retaining drippings in pan.
Increase heat to medium and add onion, celery, leek, seeds and herbs.
Cook until vegetables are soft, 10-12 minutes.
Add vinegar and drizzle molasses; stir to incorporate.
Remove from heat.
Add pork or bacon and vegetables to the roasting pan with the parsnips.
Mix together and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes.