Roasted Parsnips with Lovage Pesto

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It is frosty cold here in southern Alberta, and there is fresh snow on the ground!  I’m already thinking back with longing to the warm days of summer. The lovage is long finished here for the season, but some of you south of us may still have it growing like crazy in your garden. Here’s a good way to use up this robustly-flavored herb, paired with sweet, autumn parsnips.

Roasted Parsnips with Lovage Pesto

1. First, roast the parsnips. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a piece of baking parchment over a large baking sheet.

2. Wash, trim, and peel 5 or 6 medium parsnips, and slice into medallions on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle over with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

3. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and turn the parsnips over with a spatula. Return them to the oven and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender.

4. While the parsnips are roasting, prepare the pesto by blending the following ingredients together:

• 2-1/2 cups fresh lovage leaves, washed
• zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1 garlic clove (this is a lot of garlic, so if you don’t care for it, use less or omit)
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• pinch of salt
• 3 tablespoons chopped almonds or pine nuts, if desired
• olive oil — add just a bit to begin with, then add more as needed. The pesto should be thick but spreadable.

5. Spoon a small amount of pesto over the roasted parsnips and serve as a delicious side dish!