Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Parsnip and Pear Latke
Even though I enjoy a good latke, I prefer my potatoes prepared almost any other way: french fried, mashed, au gratin, baked, or roasted. Latkes are a once-a-year dish for me and I'm fine with that arrangement.
That once-a-year day came when I prepared some potato latkes to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah last Friday. I served them with sour cream and smoked salmon, and while it was a satisfying meal, I used the latkes more as a vehicle for the delicious salmon I bought earlier that day than for anything else.
But I wasn't ready to ditch the latke train forever. Joan Nathan's article in the Times got me jazzed for a new take on some old dishes, and I began perusing more recipes for latkes with root vegetables. When I found this recipe on Epicurious.com for a Parsnip and Pear Latke, I knew I had a winner. It had everything I had been looking for: root vegetables (with twist!) and more than a dash of horseradish (a thumbs-up ingredient, if there ever was one).
The result was savory sweetness with a punch. Served with sour cream-horseradish on top, it's the perfect way to celebrate Hanukkah. Once-a-year? Try twice-a-month.
Parsnip and Pear Latkes (from Bon Appetit, December, 2006)
1 6-7 ounce, underripe Bosc pear, quartered and cored
1 7-8 ounce parsnip, peeled and quartered
1 large egg, beaten (I would add two next time)
1 1/2 T chopped celery leaves (I used parsley)
1 1/2 t drained white horseradish
3/4 t salt
1/2 cup panko
Shred pear in food processor with grating blade. Transfer to paper towels and dry well. Transfer to a large bowl. Shred parsnip in processor and then add to the bowl with egg, celery leaves, horseradish and salt. Mix well and then add panko and black pepper.
Coat bottom of large skillet with oil. Heat over medium heat. Drop mixture into skillet in 1/4 cupfuls. Flatten with spatula and cook for approximately four minutes on each side until browned.
Serve with sour cream mixed with horseradish.