[I wrote this story 12 years ago for the Boston Globe, but after looking it up today for a link, I decided to bump it up for new readers. Still holds up, IMO.]
For no good reason, parsnips are the vegetable in need of a publicist.
Most people, if they know parsnips at all, know them as part of a New England boiled dinner. Or as an ingredient in their mother's chicken soup. But they can be so much more.