When I occasionally (ha!) casually (haha!) mention that I miss California, you may think I mean my friends, or my family or even the weather. And while that is very true, what I really miss is my stuff! All my plates and glasses, gadgets and knives. I am obviously getting by just fine here, but NYC apartments don’t have the same kind of space, so anything more than 4 forks and a wooden spoon are tucked away in storage.
But why am I waxing on about this now? Because if I had my cuisinart here, I would make these beet and carrot latkes daily. Not having to use a box grater and have my hands stained red would really increase the frequency of these pancakes on my menus.
They are my perfect food – a bit virtuous (carrots and beets are the stars) and a bit naughty (they are cooked in oil and topped with sour cream after all). They taste familiar but still new, with the earthiness from the beets and sweetness from the carrots, and they can easily replace the bad potato pancakes you may have had all these years.
I found this recipe because I had some beets in the fridge that needed to be used and wanted something more than the standard roast treatment. I thought about doing a raw beet and carrot salad, but when I saw those things fried up as latkes, I couldn’t resist.
I was planning on serving them with salmon, so I spiced up the sour cream a bit with dill and lemon to do double duty. But as the night was going like this, I just called it quits while I was ahead and gobbled up the pancakes solo, turning a serving for 4 as a side into little more than one dinner. Same reason the finished photos are a bit lacking. Oh well, it could be worse, right?
Beet and Carrot Pancakes adapted from Bon Appétit, March 1998 — — 1¹⁄³ c. (packed) coarsely shredded peeled beets (from 2 medium) 1 c. coarsely shredded peeled carrots (from 2 medium) ½ c. coarsely grated onion 1 large egg ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper ¼ cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
sour cream or crème fraiche.
Preheat oven to 300°F. Place baking sheet in oven.
Using a piece of cheesecloth, wring out all the excess moisture from the grated beets, carrots, and onion; transfer to a large bowl. Mix in egg, salt and pepper. Add flour; stir to blend well.
Heat 1 ½ tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Using a spoon, drop 4 heaping tablespoon (about ¼ c. each) pancakes into skillet; flatten using the back of the spoon.
Cook until brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer pancakes to baking sheet in oven; keep warm. Repeat with remaining beet mixture.
Serve pancakes with sour cream or crème fraiche.
Makes about 10 pancakes.