Hey, What’s Cookin’?
(This week I am taking the opportunity to feature a favorite recipe from the earlier days of m.e.l.t. While this recipe is not new to you, I hope you make it again and enjoy it as much as I have! JC)
December holds special meaning for many people in all walks of life. Food also holds special meaning as we enjoy traditional recipes specific to the celebrations of December. To many cooks, December means latkes–delicately fried vegetable pancakes. Potatoes are the basis of the traditional latke, but just about every vegetable known has, at one time or another, starred in a latke production.
This recipe of the week is featuring latkes made with carrots and parsnips! The parsnip is a delicious winter root vegetable that is closely related to carrots and parsley. Parsnips are high in Vitamins C, K, and E. One cup of raw parsnip contains a whopping 80% of your DMR for copper! The fact that they are low in calories and high in fiber only further solidifies their reputation as a nutritional bargain. With their slightly sweet flavor and starchy texture, they match well with carrots and onions and so are a natural in a latke. Parsnips are also delicious in soups and stews, and their sweetness is enhanced by roasting them in the oven alongside a chicken, pork tenderloin, or beef roast. So try and incorporate more of this modest vegetable in your winter diet–these latkes are only one of many ways to enjoy them.
This recipe takes the unusual step of microwaving the parsnip shreds before turning them into latkes. Parsnips have very low moisture and can be a bit tough or “woody.” Microwaving them pre-cooks, softens and hydrates them just a bit, making the finished product that much tastier. Enjoy!
Parsnip & Carrot Latkes
Inspired by a recipe from the Boston Globe
Serves 2 or 3 | Makes about 10
- 1/2 pound parsnips, scrubbed and lightly peeled
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 pound carrots, scrubbed and lightly peeled
- 1/2 medium onion
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pinch of grated nutmeg (optional but recommended!)
- 4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 scallions, chopped, both white and green parts
- accompaniments: plain 2% or full fat Greek yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, salsa, etc.
- Set the oven at 300° F. Place a parchment-covered baking sheet in the oven.
- Using a box grater, grate the parsnips into a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl. (You can also use a food processor fitted with the grating disk; after grating, scrape the parsnip into a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl.) Add 1 tablespoon of water to the parsnips. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and stir the parsnips with a fork.
- Continue shredding the carrots and the onions. Scrape carrot/onions into the bowl with the parsnips. Add the eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mix well.
- In a large (10-inch) nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. When the surface of the oil shimmers, give the vegetable mixture a quick stir. Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup, scoop up the mixture, and flip the contents over into the skillet. Do it twice more to fry 3 latkes at a time. Gently press each latke with the back of a spatula so they’re about 1/2-inch thick, and tuck any stray shreds back into the latke. Cook without disturbing for 3 minutes or until the bottoms are nicely browned.
- Turn the latkes carefully and cook for 2 minutes until the bottoms are brown. Set them on the parchment-covered baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and swirl. Stir the vegetable mixture well to recombine, and continue using the 1/3 measuring cup to make the latkes.
- To serve, sprinkle the scallions generously on top and serve with plain Greek yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, salsa, or condiment that appeals to you. These latkes taste great with pickled beets, pickled jalapenos, or even a dab of Sriracha sauce!
- If you have any leftovers, reheat them for breakfast in the microwave or toaster oven and serve with a fried egg on top!
NOTE: If you double the recipe (and you will want to, trust me!), increase the amount of water to 2 tablespoons and microwave the parsnip shreds for 3.5 minutes on high. The pinch of nutmeg increases to 1/8 teaspoon.
Image from: Boston.com