Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sweet Potato Parsnip Latkes

I have to say that these are some of the tastiest things I've made in quite awhile. Crispy shredded sweet potatoes and parsnips topped with a super cool cilantro yogurt sauce and antioxidant-rich broccoli sprouts equals food heaven. Yes, they were a little time consuming to make, but they were totally worth it. This was my first time making anything with parsnips and they worked really well here. And how could I not like the contrast of color in these little guys?
What's also pretty neat about these latkes is that they're gluten free!  Potato starch and egg  is what holds them together. I have to admit that I was worried that they weren't going to hold together well, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to flip them in the pan and transfer them without them falling apart at all. The yogurt sauce is so lovely and is a perfect topping for them. I chose to add some broccoli sprouts as well, because of their great color and texture, plus they are so amazingly healthy.
I love how these are made with sweet potatoes and not white potatoes, which dramatically increases the nutrients and, in my opinion, flavor! Serve these beauties with a nice big green salad and it's a perfect light meal.

Sweet Potato Parsnip Latkes (adapted from Shauna at Gluten-Free Girl)

For the latkes:
1 large sweet potato, peeled
1 or 2 large parsnips, peeled
half of a red onion
1 organic egg
1/3 cup potato starch, plus more if necessary (I'd imagine you could use flour instead if you want )
sea salt
coconut oil or butter

For the yogurt sauce and topping:
4 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
pinch of sea salt
squeeze of fresh lime
broccoli sprouts (optional)

1. Grate the sweet potatoes and parsnips into a bowl (use a food processor or a box grater). Fill the bowl with cold water and let the sweet potato and parsnip shreds soak for a bit. Then, grab a kitchen towel, or paper towels, and put it over a colander. Scoop the shredded sweet potatoes and parsnips into the towel with a slotted spoon. After you have moved them all over, grab the kitchen towel, close it up at the top, and squeeze all the water from the vegetables over the kitchen sink. Keep squeezing until the sweet potato and parsnip shreds are dry. Transfer them to a large bowl.

2. Grate the red onion into the sweet potato bowl. Add egg and a few pinches of sea salt and combine well. Pour in the potato starch and toss everything together.

3. Set a large cast-iron skillet (or similar heavy-bottomed pan) over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil or butter. Grab 1 tablespoon of the latke batter and put it in the hot pan. Cook until both sides are browned, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat. Allow the tiny latke to cool, then taste it. Did it fall apart in the pan? Add more starch. Does it need more seasoning? Add that. I had to add a bit more potato starch to make sure things stayed together plus a little salt for flavor.

4. When you have the latkes the way you want them, turn the burner onto medium-high heat again. When the oil is hot, add 1/4 cup of the latke batter at a time, pressing down on the top when it is in the pan. Do not crowd the pan. I put  2 latkes at a time. Allow the bottoms to brown, about 3 minutes, and carefully turn the latkes over, cooking for about 3 minutes.  Remove the latkes from the pan when they are as browned as you wish.

5. To make the sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve a small spoonful on each latke and top with broccoli sprouts. Enjoy!

Makes about 8 latkes

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