Given the odd carrot colors on display at the country's most upscale market, you'd be forgiven for thinking that parsnips are nothing more than beige carrots. They are cousins, but parsnips have a nutty, apple-like taste distinct from their more famous kin. At this time of year, they also have a delicate sweetness, thanks to the root's cold-activated system for converting starch to sugar.

Photo by Melissa Schneider