Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Boom! Parsnip Grenades

Corny name for a substantial snack, I know, but I was struggling to give these spicy morsels a name. Originally I was going to call them 'Parsnip Balls of Fire', but its a mouthful, then 'Parsnip Bombs' crossed my mind as they reminded me of the Green Seed Bombs, however D suggested that the oblong egg shapes looked more like hand grenades, hence the final chosen name: 'Parsnip Grenades', albeit edible ones.
These Spicy Parsnip Grenades are huge, almost the size of the palm of my hand. I think they make a good and substantial lunch and if presented well, I think these would be excellent food on the go, certainly for picnics.
So where did the idea for these Spicy Parsnip Grenades come from?! I had made too much filling for the Parsnip Samosa and instead of ditching it, I stated thinking of frugal ways to use it up.  I remembered the thought of making some Parsnip Arancini aka risotto balls with some left Parsnip Risotto, I also remembered visiting Henderson in Edinburgh and looking in their food counter at one of the mightiest deep fried croquettes I had ever seen. So with these memories buzzing in my head, I thought I'd create some spicy parsnip rissoles. However the spicy mashed parsnip filling was a little sloppy; to this I decided to add some cooked brown rice. I didn't need to add any eggs to hold or bind the ingredients together, as the sticky mushiness of the parsnips worked its magic here.  All I had to do was tweak and adjust the seasoning, in this case salt and then shape the mixture between the palm of my hands.

From shaping them into round balls, I found myself moulding them into large teardrops. I coated them in a little beaten egg and then dipped them in breadcrumbs and they were ready to be deep fried.
Here I’ve used a beaten egg to coat the Spiced Parsnip Grenades, but they can easily be made vegan by coating them in chickpea batter and then deep fried.
I deep fried these in a wide pan, filled with vegetable oil, but I would strongly advise you making these in a deep fat fryer.  One of the benefits is it will cook more evenly, as you will not need to gently turn it over to turn golden.
I served it with garlicky curly kale. I could have poshed it up even more with a drizzling of spicy tomato chilli sauce, but you know its not always easy taking pictures outside your front door with people walking and driving by staring and rubber necking from curiosity: at a man with a camera, and a woman holding a plate of food. Ah the things we do...


  1. They look absolutely yummy! I don't have a deep fat fryer though (because we're both on a constant battle with cholesterol. I might try flat versions in a shallow pan because I can control the fat level more easily that way.

    I'm planning on roasted butternut squash for dinner tonight and don't intend to put ANY meat with it. I got away with a minimum of chorizo in a risotto last night but today will be the first time I've fed him something obviously vegetarian. I'm thinking of making some sort of sage and onion stuffing to fill up the 'dent' so he won't notice!

  2. Ha ha - I'd love to see you outside the house photographing your food! There would only be a select few of us who would know what was going on and nod sagely as we drove past!

  3. They look delicious and that's a fab name. The egg shape is very suitable for an easter party. Love them.

  4. Haha....I love the thought of your photo session.

    These look tasty, could you get away with cooking them in the oven. I don't fry anything as I have an Aga and it makes for a real fire hazard (no temperature control on the hot plates you see)!!

    Sue xx

  5. LOVE the blog!

  6. What a clever idea to use up leftovers! Great post!

  7. These look delicious! I love when I can take leftovers and make them into something completely different and interesting!

  8. These look unbelievably delicious. I adore parsnips. They are a very undervalued, overlooked and under-appreciated vegetable. I am also hanging out to make the Sweet Parsnip, Lemon and Rosemary Tart.

    Thank you!!!!

  9. Thank you so much MorningAJ.
    I don't have a deep fat fryer either. I filled a pan with oil. I advised a deep fat fryer as I think it would be much safer for some home cooks. I certainly think a flat version of these shallow fried in oil would be absolutely fine.

    I hope your meal of 'Roasted butternut squash' without meat went well :) Did it? or did your man notice?!
    Warm wishes to you.

    Thank you Louise.
    Your right only a select few would know what was going on :), but I just don't feel comforatable taking photographs with passing people. Wish our garden was a little more easily accessible, but its not (we live in the flat upstairs and have to pass by the neighbours)!

    Thanks Kath.
    I was cringing a little posting the name, but feeling a little humour too :)

    Yes, your right the egg shape is also very suitable for an easter party.

  10. Thanks Sue.

    I understand your predicament with the Aga (which is lovely by the way, I came by a few days ago and saw your lovely tea towels hanging off them). I think you can try cooking them in the oven, but I think they would not be the same with the golden crispy texture. I'd advise perhaps flattening them and shallow frying them in oil.

    Thank you so much foster mummy.

    Thanks yummychunklet.

    Thank you so much Jodye.

    Thanks Daffodil.
    I am certainly learning to appreciate the under rated and undervalued parsnips. They are so versatile and lends themself well to bother sweet and savoury dishes. If you haven't yet made the 'Sweet Parsnip, Lemon and Rosemary Tart' - please wait until tomorrow. I've just created a 'Parsnip and Violet Cake' and I think you will like it.

  11. These look great and I love the name you've given them. Made me laugh your comment about being watched taking photos outside. My poor family can't touch their food until I've taken a picture!

  12. Thanks Karen.
    I don't mind, but the light inside the flat is not always kind. So sometimes I have to step outside my door, but then I just want to snap and rush in.

    PS Tell your family its best to let food cool down a little, then you appreciate the flavour better too :)


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