Makes about 12 latkes, 4 servings
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total preparation time: 25 minutes
1 pound assorted root vegetables, such as turnips, beets, parsnips, and carrots
1/2 pound boiling potatoes, such as Yukon Gold or Red Bliss
1 small onion
1 large egg
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream
1. Preheat the oven to 250ºF. Peel and coarsely shred the root vegetables, potato, and onion (about 3 1/2 cups, packed, combined) in a food processor fitted with the shredding disc (or grate by hand if you don’t have a food processor). Transfer the vegetables to a small bowl. Add the egg, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and toss well.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Use a 1/4-cup measure to drop mounds of the vegetable mixture into the skillet and to flatten than to 4-inch rounds. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn and brown the other sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the latkes to a rimmed baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat, adding vegetable oil as needed, until all the vegetable mixture has been cooked.
3. Sprinkle the latkes with salt and pepper to taste and serve them with sour cream.
Parsnips are one of my favorite root vegetables. Unfortunately I think many people stay away from them because they assume they are going to have that funky aroma and taste like turnips. But I would describe them as slightly sweet nutty white carrots. Their only downside is that they often have a woody core which needs to be cut out before cooking. It is quite obvious when you cut them in half lengthwise – if you see a thick core, cut the halves in half lengthwise again and cut out and discard the core.
My favorite neutral oil for cooking and dressings is grapeseed oil. I love it because it is clean and flavorless.