In Season

In Season: Nate Smith’s Roasted-Parsnip-and-Farro Salad

Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine; Illustrations by John Burgoyne

Even as polar vortices roar and Greenmarket totes feel sadly light, locavores can find happiness in root vegetables like parsnips. Because the cold helps convert their starch into sugar, a later harvest can result in an unusually sweet taproot; Norwich Meadows Farm stand sells great ones. Slice and fry them for a simple snack, or roast them with olive oil for this light and terrific grain salad, which chef Nate Smith serves at his Williamsburg restaurant Allswell. (Roasting enhances the parsnips’ natural sweetness, but if the roots are still too starchy, Smith will toss them with a couple of tablespoons of honey before placing them in the oven.)

Nate Smith’s Roasted-Parsnip-and-Farro Salad

5 medium-size parsnips
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs. cooking olive oil
1 large head radicchio, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 cup niçoise olives
3 cups farro, boiled, drained, and cooled
3 cups mizuna or small, tender mustard greens
1 cup goat feta, lightly crumbled
Maldon salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Juice of 1 to 2 lemons, to taste
1/4 cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. (1) Peel parsnips, and (2) cut into a large, rustic dice. (3) Toss with kosher salt and 1/4 cup cooking olive oil; roast in oven for 20 minutes or until parsnips are tender. Toss radicchio in 2 tablespoons cooking olive oil and kosher salt, and roast in oven for 10 minutes or until lightly crisp. Combine spices, and toast in a dry pan, moving the pan continuously until spices begin to smoke. Remove from pan, and allow to cool, then grind. Remove pits from olives, and roughly chop. Toss with spices. Place parsnips in a mixing bowl. Add spiced olives, farro, and radicchio. Gently fold in mizuna, along with half the feta. Add Maldon salt, black pepper, lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil, gently tossing to coat the greens. Divide among four plates, taking care not to bruise the greens. Finish with remaining feta cheese. Serves 4.

In Season: Nate Smith’s Roasted-Parsnip-and-Farro Salad