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mmmm… meatless monday!

This time of year, when parsnip season is in full swing, I’m constantly asked for Meatless Monday recipes incorporating this vegetable. My parsnip frittata with chives and Pecorino exudes everything that a meatless meal should be. There’s protein packed in the eggs, nutrients from the parsnips and, most importantly, a bold punch of flavor from the chives and cheese.

 

A frittata is simply an Italian version of an omelette and is incredibly useful to have in your repertoire when in need of a speedy vegetarian meal. I’ve always been an advocate of eggs in all their forms: boiled, poached, scrambled, the possibilities are endless. Combine them with almost any vegetable or cheese that you have on hand and you’ve got a delicious and balanced meal. Once your eggs hit the heat, it’s essential to let them work their own magic without touching them too much. Thus my secret to the perfect frittata, and a quick & healthy vegetarian dish, is to bake it off in a piping hot oven (425°F) until the eggs are just cooked through.

 

Closely related to the carrot, the parsnip is a root vegetable that becomes sweeter after winter frosts in the ground. March is the perfect time to buy parsnips from your local market. The parsnip is native to the Eurasian continent and was first cultivated by the Romans as a sweetener before the arrival of cane sugar. Although sometimes still mistaken for the carrot, parsnips flourished when introduced to the States in the nineteenth century. They are usually served cooked, but can also be eaten raw like a carrot, which I find delicious when paired with homemade hummus or baba ghanoush (another meatless snack). But for these chilly March mornings, a warm and satisfying frittata is the way to go.

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