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Author Notes: The taproots maintain the pure, earthy taste signature to a complex carbohydrate; yet have the luxury of being sans starch. Your taste buds will delight in the unique flavors of each variety: a sugary sweetness from the parsnip, or peppery bite from the daikon radish. It is these very flavor subtleties that will clue you in to which spices and bulbs to incorporate to complete your perfect latke.
The fun of the recipe lies in its creativity; feel more than free to use your imagination! No matter what combination you try, the taproots are so mild in taste that fried with eggs and flour, they are bound to be tasty. I dare you to take the most grotesque looking root vegetable you can find (think celeriac, wasabi root) and turn it into a lovable latke. I have no doubt you will succeed.
How about pairing sweet parsnip with buttery leeks and a dash of nutmeg? Maybe scallions along with the daikon radish, to keep in Japanese theme. Add garam-masala to turnip and onion for a nod to Indian cuisine. Or whisk together carrot, dill and cumin to deliver a refreshing burst of herbs--plus an aesthetically startling color rainbow. —KvellintheKitchen
Makes 16 latkes
Root Vegetable Latkes
- 4 cups grated parsnip, turnip, carrot, daikon radish or other root vegetable
- 1 cup bulb (onion, scallions, leeks, or shallot)
- 3-4 eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- dash of salt & pepper
- 2 teaspoons desired spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, garam-masala, cumin, coriander, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons herbs (dill, parsley, cilantro, etc.)
- Canola or olive oil
- Transfer grated vegetables into a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Strain, and then squeeze out excess moisture by wrapping tightly in a paper towel or dish cloth.
- If making multiple types of latkes, combine 3 eggs, flour, salt & pepper in a small bowl. Combine each type of grated vegetable, bulb, spice & herb in its own bowl. Distribute egg/flour mixture evenly amongst all types. If making 1 type of latke, combine all ingredients together in a large bowl. If batter is not binding or looks too dry, add the remaining egg. Mix thoroughly.
- To fry: Over medium or medium-high heat, heat enough oil so it covers the entire bottom of large saucepan, about 1/4 inch thick. Drop batter by 1/4-cupful into sizzling pan. Press down lightly with spatula. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until latkes are nicely browned.
- To bake: Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray or olive oil spritzer. Drop batter by 1/4-cupfuls onto cookie sheet. Flatten with spatula. Bake for 25 minutes; flip and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until latkes are browned and crispy.
Apple Pear Mash
- 2 red apples, cored and cut into eighths
- 2 ripe Bartlett pears, cored and cut into eighths
- 1 thick slice lemon
- 1 cinnamon stick, or dash of cinnamon spice
- 1 tablespoon tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1/2 cup 1/2 cup water
- Place apples, pears, lemon, cinnamon, ginger and water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer, stirring often, until apples are completely tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the lemon and cinnamon. Let sauce cool slightly, and transfer to a blender. Puree until smooth.