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Author Notes: Not to lead you astray in the introduction to this recipe, but you can basically do whatever you want with this one. It's delicious. And you can make it as simple, or as complex as you see fit. Don't own a mandoline? No problem. Just slice the vegetables thinly, and perhaps extend the cooking time a bit. Don't want to go through the acrobatics of flipping a giant hot oily root vegetable pancake? No big deal. Throw it in a gratin dish, seriously consider adding more cheese and some cream, and then bake it for about an hour. If you are feeling really ambitious, whip a little goat cheese with some cream and serve as a sauce on the side. —zest in the midwest
Serves: 6 as a side
red beets, each about the size of a baseball, peeled
large sweet potato or 2 yellow beets, peeled
large garnet yam, peeled
tablespoons olive oil
sprig rosemary, chopped very finely
cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 375. Trim the ends off all of the vegetables.
- Thinly slice each vegetable, about the thickness you would use for making homemade potato chips, with a mandoline. Keep the sliced vegetables separate from one another (the red beets seem to want to territorially mark everything!).
- Generously brush the inside of an oven safe skillet (I highly recommend cast iron here - an 8 inch works great) with olive oil.
- Starting with the lightest color root vegetable (either the yellow beets or the sweet potato), lay the thin slices on the bottom of the pan. Start at the outside of the pan, go in a circular motion, and slightly overlap each piece. When you have created the first layer, gently brush a little olive oil on top, then sprinkle with a little salt, pepper, and rosemary. Lightly cover with parmesan cheese.
- Repeat with another layer of that vegetable, if you have enough. If not, move on to the next darkest color (usually the carrots). Again, gently brush a little olive oil on top, then sprinkle with a little salt, pepper, and rosemary. Lightly cover with parmesan cheese
- Continue this process until you reach the top layer of red beets. Do not brush olive oil on the very top of the dish.
- Placing the cast iron skillet on the stove, heat for about ten minutes on medium-high heat. Occasionally, gently press down on the vegetables to make sure the layers are bonding together.
- Ok, this is the tricky step. Take the skillet off the heat (go ahead and wait a few minutes for it to cool slightly if you want). Gently loosen sides of vegetables with a spatula. Place a large plate (as flat as you can find that fits completely) over the skillet. Flip the skillet over onto the plate - be VERY careful - there is a possibility of hot oil here.
- Once the vegetable pancake is inverted onto the plate, slide it back into the skillet, now the light color is facing up. The skillet goes back on the heat for another 8 minutes, and then into the oven for another 15 minutes.
- Take the vegetables out of the oven and let cool in the skillet for about ten minutes. Gently using spatula, slide pancake onto plate. Cool for another five minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegetarian Holiday Side