Parsnip, Date and Walnut Bread

I have been receiving a lot of parsnips from my local CSA. I was hoping to try a sweet recipe after having tried a tasty parsnip cake and this recipe was incredible. There has been a lot of buzz around Joshua McFadden’s new cookbook Six Seasons. It features vegetables so I had to check it out! I adapted this recipe from his Parsnip, Date and Hazelnut Loaf Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze. I didn’t make the glaze and honestly do not think this bread needs anything else, it shines on its own.

Parsnip, Date and Walnut Bread

adapted from Six Seasons


  • Butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 150 grams (1 1/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (about 8-12 jewel dates)
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once oven is warm, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven 6-10 minutes until the nuts smell toasty and have a slightly darker appearance. Be careful of burning the nuts, check them early until you know how your oven works. Leave them to cool.
  2. Butter a 22 x 12cm Loaf plan. Add a small amount of flour and coat all the surfaces, dump out any extra flour.
  3. In a medium to large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix in the dates. Try to separate the dates so that they do not clump together.
  4. Place the parsnips in a food process and process until they are finely chopped (similar to quinoa).
  5. Add the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest to the food processor and pulse until smooth.
  6. Pulse in the olive oil until blended.
  7. Fold the parsnip mixture into the dry mixture.
  8. Fold in the toasted walnuts.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes. Start checking at 50 minutes.
  10. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove it from the pan and allow the bread to cool.

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