The key to tender parsnips is removing the fibrous core. It’s simple to do once the parsnips are quartered; just slice away the tough center of each piece. Barberries offer a punchy sourness to these earthy, sweetly spiced parsnips. Substitute unsweetened dried cranberries or cherries if barberries are unavailable.

December 2019


Credit: Caitlin Bensel

Recipe Summary

25 mins
6 to 8


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl; set aside.

  • Melt 1/4 cup butter in a deep 12- to 14-inch skillet over medium. Cook, stirring often, until milk solids turn nut-brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

  • Working quickly, add lemon peel strips, cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, and mint sprigs to butter. (Mint will cause mixture to splatter.) Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add parsnips, 1 1/2 cups water, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt.

  • Bring parsnip mixture to a boil over high. Boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to medium; simmer, undisturbed, until parsnips are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Uncover; stir in lemon juice mixture, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is creamy and parsnips are glazed, about 1 minute.

  • Transfer parsnips to a large platter. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and mint sprigs. Drizzle glaze over parsnips. Sprinkle with mint leaves, barberries, and Urfa biber. Serve immediately or at room temperature.


Urfa biber is a ground dried Turkish chile pepper with smoky heat and a raisin-like flavor. You can purchase it at