Have you ever opened your CSA box to see something that looks an awful lot like a carrot that didn’t get enough time in the sun? If so, you were likely looking at a parsnip, a versatile root vegetable that was once used as a sweetening agent before cane sugar became an import to Europe.

Closely related to carrots and parsley, parsnips can improve heart health, function as a good source of fiber, reduce risk of birth defects, help in weight management, aid in reducing cholesterol levels, and give your immune system a boost.

Here, Charlie Soule, owner of Soule Domain in Kings Beach, gives us a recipe for seared sea scallops with smashed parsnips.


~ Ally Gravina/Moonshine Ink


¾ pound fresh, dry pack sea scallops (8 each approx.)

2 parsnips

½ can coconut milk

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp curry powder, garam masal, or other indian spices

½ Tbsp salt and pepper

¼ tsp nutmeg

½ lemon

Instructions for two entrees or four appetizers

Peel parsnips, chop into one-inch chunks, boil in water for 1 hour, drain.

Season scallops with a pinch of salt and pepper, heat large sauté pan to medium high.

Smash parsnips in boiling pot using a potato masher with coconut milk and all spices, or process in food processor if smoother consistency is desired.

Sear scallops for 45 seconds, turn, and place in 400 degree oven for 3 minutes, plate scallops, add splash of white wine to slightly cooled pan (1/2 cup), add a squeeze ½ lemon, and parsnip puree. You can add butter if you like, stir, add sauce to the plate, and garnish with green onion, parsley, herbs, or pea shoots.


  • Ally Gravina

    Ally Gravina is a freelance journalist and former Moonshine editor based in Graeagle. She has a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she specialized in arts and culture reporting.

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