Mary Berry adds one ingredient to her parsnips so they becomes ‘extra crispy’

Mary Berry, the beloved former Bake Off star and national treasure, has amazed fans with her secret for making the perfect crispy parsnips.

Parsnips are the perfect addition to a festive meal, but roasting them with oil alone doesn’t always promise a crispiness. One trick, however, does.

Cooks believe that the best way to ensure roast vegetables come out of the oven with a good crust on them is by adding semolina.

Mary Berry is an avid fan of the ingredient, as she uses it on both her potatoes and parsnips for a good crunch. The cook suggests sprinkling semolina onto the root for crispiness along with a pinch of thyme, for flavour.

The winter vegetable is in season between September and March, meaning now is the ideal time to start incorporating the vegetable while it’s at its prime.

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In a recipe published in Love to Cook, the cook explained: “Crunchy sweet parsnips are the perfect side dish. The addition of semolina gives them a lovely crispy outside.

“With the addition of semolina, these golden parsnips become extra crisp in the oven. Throw some in with your roast potatoes for something a bit different this Sunday.”

Berry also proposes adding some spuds to the recipe to extend your assortment of root vegetables.

The recipe, which serves between four to six people, calls for four large parsnips, sunflower oil, semolina and fresh thyme.

Mary Berry has previously told The Mirror that although the prospect of cooking a Christmas meal is daunting, it is just ‘one meal’ like any other at the end of the day.

She further advised: “It is well worth doing as much preparation and cooking in advance as you can so that you have as little to do as possible at the last minute.”


Large parsnips

Sunflower oil



Chopped fresh thyme


Cook the parsnips in boiling water for four minutes. Drain and leave to cool. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200C / 200C fans / Gas seven. Add one tablespoon of the oil to a roasting tin and place in the oven for five minutes to get hot.

Add the remaining oil to a bowl. Season the parsnips with salt and black pepper and toss in the oil to coat.  

Mix the semolina, paprika and thyme in a small bowl. Add to the parsnips and mix well to coat them in the mixture.

Place the parsnips in one layer in the tin with the hot oil and roast for about 20 minutes, turning over halfway through the cooking time, until golden and crisp.

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