Parsnips are a funny thing and no two are the same. They’re irregularly large on top and then taper to a peculiar tail on the bottom. It’s this originality that can make writing instructions on slicing them a little tricky. But, you want each slice to be roughly the same thickness, and by no means too big. If you’re having trouble, just imagine it on your plate: When baked, would it fold effortlessly into your mouth once it’s been baked and candied for over and hour or, or poke your eye out in the process?
Cola: Classically, candied parsnips are usually made with a mixture of brown sugar and butter, but I love the flavour of cola when it’s reduced down to a sticky syrup in this dish. It works beautiful and adds a hit of nostalgia too!
Pre-heat oven to 400 F
Cut each one in half cross-wise to separate the top from the bottom.
Working lengthwise, Cut each top half into 8 equal sticks.
Cut each bottom section into 2-4 sticks (we want them to resemble the same size as the other 8)
Add to large baking dish and top with melted butter, cola, orange juice, orange peel, star anise pods, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Bake for 90 minutes or so, stirring a few times throughout, until juice has reduced to a sticky consistency and parsnips are tender,
Turn oven to a broil and let parsnips gain a dark colour on edges for a couple minutes.
Season again with salt and pepper before serving warm.