BAR Test Kitchen: Parsnips: Back to Roman Roots

Biblical Archaeology Society | 10/9/2019 | Staff
TaylorShaye (Posted by) Level 3
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Parsnips are an underappreciated vegetable in the U.S. Depending on where you are, they can be difficult to track down, and many Americans have only a vague notion of what a parsnip actually is. In my opinion, though, they are delicious and well worth the hunt.

Apicius’s recipe for parsnips is a simple but tasty one:

Sphondyli - Elixi - Ex - Sale - Oleo

Sphondyli elixi ex sale, oleo, mero, coriandro viridi conciso et piper integro.

Experimenting with this dish, food historian Patrick Faas added measurements to the ancient recipe. 3 For BAR’s recipe, I modified Faas’s recipe by reducing the portion from six to four parsnips, increasing the amount of water, and adding more liquid in the form of wine (idea taken from another of Apicius’s parsnip recipes). It is unclear whether the recipe calls for fresh coriander (cilantro leaves for the Americans among us) or ground coriander. I chose ground coriander seeds, but I think it would have been equally tasty with fresh leaves.

Note - Wine - Wine - Pinot - Grigio

Finally, a note on the wine. I used an Italian white wine (a pinot grigio) because I was trying to be as authentic as possible (Rome, Italian wine … it was as close as I could get). If you do not want to use wine,...
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