Parsnip and Pear Latkes

Adapted from Bon Appetit (December 2006)

This unique twist on a classic Jewish holiday dish is a pleasant surprise. As we were running the food processor to shred the pear and parsnip, my 5-year-old informed me that “actual latkes are made with potato, mom.” Nevertheless, nobody complained.

  • 1 large underripe Bosc pear, unpeeled, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves, divided
  • 2 teaspoons extra hot white horseradish
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream
  • Canola oil
  • In a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, shred the pear until finely chopped. Remove pear and press it dry with paper towels. Place in a large bowl and set aside. Shred the parsnip in the same manner, then add to pear. Mix in beaten egg, 1-1/2 tablespoons celery leaves, 1-1/2 teaspoons horseradish and salt. Add panko and a sprinkle of black pepper.
  • To make a sauce for the latkes, combine sour cream with the remaining celery leaves and horseradish. Stir well and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, pour enough canola oil to just barely coat the bottom with a thin layer when heated over medium (about 1 tablespoon). Pack the parsnip-pear mixture into a 1/4 measuring cup, then invert onto the hot skillet. Using a spatula, press each patty to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to brown. Carefully flip each latke, taking care to press the patty together a bit to help it stick. When both sides are browned, remove the latkes from the pan and place on a paper towel to cool slightly. Continue adding small amounts of oil to the skillet until all the batter has been used.
  • Serve with horseradish sour cream on the side.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. The flavors here are terrific, but my latkes were a bit difficult to keep together. I can’t help but think that using an additional egg might make a difference?
  • 2. I used quite a bit less oil than the recipe called for. By using just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and prevent sticking, the latkes are not oily or heavy. This may also be the reason my latkes didn’t stick together as well as I might have liked.

Preparation time: 25 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 6

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