PREPARING PARSNIPS

I remember my mother used to bake parsnips when I was young, but I don't recall exactly how she prepared them. Can you give me some ideas? Thank you.

Elza Baird

Bowie

Here are a couple of our favorite parsnip dishes that appeared in previous issues of The Washington Post Food section.

Do you have a recipe request? If so, let us know! (See address and e-mail information below.)

Roasted Parsnips With Honey and Ginger

(6 servings)

This recipe originally from "Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection: Vegetables" (Periplus Editions, $12).

1 1/2 pounds parsnips

Salt to taste

1/4 cup oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon finely grated or chopped fresh ginger root

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Peel and cut the parsnips in half lengthwise, or cut them into quarters if they are large, to make pieces about 3 inches long and 1 inch thick. Remove any woody cores.

Place the parsnips in a large saucepan, cover with water, add salt to taste and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Drain. Return to the saucepan and dry by shaking the pan over low heat for 1 minute.

Heat the oil in a roasting pan placed on the stovetop over high heat. Add the parsnips and cook quickly, turning to color evenly. Add the butter to the pan and transfer to the preheated oven. Roast for 10 minutes.

Spoon off any excess fat and stir in the honey and ginger, turning the parsnips to coat evenly. Roast for another 5 minutes. Remove the roasted parsnips from the pan and serve immediately.

Per serving: 160 calories, 2 gm protein, 25 gm carbohydrates, 7 gm fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 12 mg sodium, 6 gm dietary fiber

African Groundnut Stew

(6 to 8 servings)

The flavor of this West African classic is wonderful, and the peanut butter adds to the nutritional value. If you want to make this a nonvegetarian dish, just add a 3-pound chicken, cut into parts and browned.

Serve with a cooked grain such as barley or millet.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large onions, coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small head green cabbage, coarsely chopped*

3 large yams, cut into 1-inch cubes (may substitute sweet potatoes)*

3 cups coarsely diced carrots

2 cups coarsely diced parsnips

3 cups canned plum tomatoes

4 cups apple juice

1 cup chunky-style peanut butter

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

Heat the oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven or casserole over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic, cabbage, yams, carrots, parsnips, plum tomatoes and apple juice and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter, a bit at a time. Add the cayenne and salt and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Serve immediately.

* Note: Many other vegetables taste great in this stew. You may replace the yams with pumpkin, butternut squash or acorn squash. Brussels sprouts or Napa cabbage may replace the green cabbage.

Per serving: 614 calories, 16 gm protein, 85 gm carbohydrates, 27 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 gm saturated fat, 868 mg sodium

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