I am always looking for new things to do with parsnips. Through our various winter CSA’s we always seem to have parsnips hanging around. They have a nice sweet and slightly sharp flavor that is tasty in many different culinary applications. As the winter goes on, the parsnips we receive get sweeter and sweeter, probably as a result of the cold forcing them to store all that sugar.
We tend to get kind of lazy with our roots and serve them roasted or mashed. However, after too many sides of roasted parsnips, we went looking for something different. Parsnips are similar to potatoes in that they are both versatile when it comes to cooking. Mix the two together and you have a very happy blend.
This recipe is pretty simple to put together, just coarsely grate parsnips and potatoes, stir in flour, eggs, herbs, and salt and pepper. Drop heaping spoonfuls into a pan with a little hot oil and watch the magic happen. The latkes fry up brown and crisp. Serve them hot from the skillet with a dollop of sour cream or with a little applesauce. Or just eat them plain dusted with salt. A delicious alternative to the traditional parsnip dish.
Potato Parsnip Latkes
Adapted from Epicurious
1 large all-purpose potato (like a red or a Yukon Gold), 8-10 ounces
1 lb parsnips, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbls fresh chives, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. You can put your cooked batches of latkes in the oven to keep them warm until they are ready to serve.
Peel the potato and coarsely grate it into a large bowl (if you are concerned about the potatoes browning, toss them with about 1 tbls of lemon juice at this point). Place the grated potatoes in a large, clean kitchen towel and wring it to remove as much moisture as possible.
Mix the potatoes with the parsnips, flour, eggs, chives, and salt and pepper until well combined.
Place a 12 inch skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to come about 1/4 inch up the side of the pan. Heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Scoop scant 1/4 cupfuls of the mixture into the skillet and flatten with a spatula. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Fry until golden on one side, 1-3 minutes, then flip and cook until the second side is golden, another 1-3 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Place on a cookie sheet in the oven to keep warm until the remaining latkes are cooked.
Makes about 16 latkes. Serves 4-6 as a side dish. Serve warm topped with sour cream, applesauce, or sprinkled with salt.