Thursday, November 20, 2008

Purple Pancake Eater


This week's CSA brought baby beets and knobby, gnarly carrots, some broccoli romanesco, and radicchio. I had already eaten some of the beets sliced super thinly (by my mandolin) atop some Whole Foods Harissa Hummus spread on Organic Mixed Grain bread from the Bread Alone bakery (which is superb). So I knew the beets were a treat. They taste amazingly sweet and fresh and earthy when RAW, so I could just imagine how the flavor might have been enhanced if they were cooked just a touch.

So I embarked upon a journey through the interweb to find a recipe that would let me use the beets in a new way (I usually go raw or roasted individually wrapped in foil). I found this recipe on Epicurious.com for beet and carrot pancakes; the recipe is obviously not written by a heeb such as myself, or the author would have automatically named the recipe Latkes, not pancakes. These lightly fried discs of sweet root vegetable resemble latkes more than pancakes, but at least the name pancake sounds better in the title of this post...

Here is my version of the recipe, to be served with plain yogurt (I used Seven Stars Farm organic low fat plain, but any would do). I also think a yummy raita would compliment the sweetness of the pancakes, as well. Or maybe a cucumber salad. I was just too hungry to wait and try those compliments tonight. I also think in the future I could mix in some cottage cheese or ricotta either instead of or in addition to the egg... We'll just have to see next time.

Here it goes:

1 c shredded peeled beets
1 c shredded carrots (I choose not to peel if they are fresh or organic-- the "skin" is delicious!)
1/2 a medium onion, sliced very very thinly and chopped into pieces no longer than 1"
1 beaten egg
salt and pepper to taste (I say a pinch of salt and 1/8-1/4 t pepper)
2 T whole wheat flour

Preheat pan on low-medium heat and oven on 300 degrees F. Mix the veggies in a bowl. Add beaten egg, salt and pepper. Add flour, and stir till well mixed. Grease the pan with veggie or olive oil. Using your hands (they will already be pretty dirty-pink-from the beet shredding session), scoop out about a palm-full of the mixture, and press into a patty. Place in pan, and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. You cook as many at a time as can fit in your pan, with room to flip. When each one is done, place it in your preheated oven.

I really enjoyed these because even though they are "cooked", the veggies still taste really fresh and not overdone at all. Their flavors are still pretty bright, especially when contrasted to the tart plain yogurt. Definitely something I will try again, maybe next time with shredded potatoes, as well.

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