What's In Season: October

Parsnips
How To Select: Cream-colored parsnips belong to the carrot family, but aren't eaten raw. When cooked, they become creamy and sweet. Pick unbending, hard, small specimens without soft spots.

Preparation Tips: Refrigerated parsnips keep well for up to three weeks. For parsnips measuring more than 1-1/2 inches at the wider end, cut into quarters and remove the tough core. Peel and toss with other root vegetables (try carrots, yams, and beets), olive oil, freshly chopped oregano or rosemary, salt, and pepper. Roast at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until tender. Or steam parsnip chunks and purée like mashed potatoes.

Health Benefits: Lauded as a cleansing, tonic food, parsnips also provide fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin C.

—E.B.