These parsnips are intensely flavoured with vinegar, chilli and smoke from the grill, which adds a wonderful dimension but isn’t strictly essential, so skip the charring stage if you want to save time. Be sure to keep the oil that you’re left with, and use it to dress salads or to drizzle over dips or meze.
1 hour 20 minutes
4-6 as a side
2 red chillies, thinly sliced at a slight angle
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Flaked sea salt and black pepper
750g medium parsnips, peeled and halved lengthways
11 garlic cloves, peeled – 10 left whole, 1 crushed
450ml olive oil
4 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped
3 tbsp parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground allspice
1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Put the chillies, vinegar and a small pinch of flaked salt in a medium bowl and leave to pickle lightly.
2. Put the parsnips, whole garlic cloves, oil and a tablespoon of flaked salt in a 30cm x 20cm high-sided baking dish, cover tightly with foil, then roast for an hour, or until a knife slides easily into the thicker part of the parsnips. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the parsnips and garlic, and reserve the oil.
3. Put a well-greased griddle pan on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen. Once hot, grill the parsnips in two or three batches for about two to three minutes a batch, turning them once, until deeply charred on both sides. Transfer to a large bowl while you continue with the rest. Grill the garlic cloves for a minute, or until charred on both sides, then add to the parsnip bowl.
4. Put the herbs, crushed garlic, 60ml of the reserved parsnip oil, a quarter-teaspoon of flaked salt and a good grind of pepper in a small food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Stir this and the allspice into the pickled chillies.
5. Add the herb mixture to the parsnip bowl, tossing gently to combine, then transfer to a large platter, arranging the parsnips cut side up and all pointing in the same direction. Drizzle with two more tablespoons of the parsnip oil and serve warm or at room temperature.