Behold the squatty root ::::
In the leafy gardens across the world, beets are the squatty unsung heroes, earthy and colorful, often ignored. Some of you may say rightfully so. Don’t judge so quickly, my friends. I couldn’t resist these golden lovelies at the Mountain View Farmers’ Market.
They called me. I answered.
Those canned beets your auntie insisted you eat, or the pickled ones lying lifeless in cafeteria salads may haunt you still. These are not it. These are like pieces of the sun.
Roasted beets are a different vegetable all together. I have many a salad I dress up with roasted beets. And in this latke? A sweet earthiness, oniony greatness, and a smoky, sour cream finish. Red beets would work equally well here. Our family ate these for Sunday breakfast, licking our forks and wishing for more.
Some tips for general latke making: Keep them warm in a low oven. This can also help crisp them as you prepare other food. If using juicy vegetables (or fruit), dry out the ingredients with paper towels or a cheesecloth. I did not feel I needed to do this with this recipe, but it works well with potato or zucchini latkes.
- For the latkes: 3 medium roasted golden beets* – peeled and finely diced (My dice was 3-4 millimeters)
- 9 scallions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (plus more to sprinkle after cooking)
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- olive oil for the pan
- For the sour cream: ⅔ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Place the diced beets and scallions in a medium bowl. Toss with the flour, salt and pepper. Add the eggs and stir until well mixed.
- Heat a large heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the pan, just less than a centimeter deep. Using a soup spoon, scoop up a tablespoon of batter and drop into pan gently. Slightly flatten with the back of the spoon. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until golden-brown. (Check your heat! This may go fast as the pan gets hot.) Flip the latkes and sauté for another 2 minutes until golden-brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Repeat until the beet mixture has all been cooked.
- Mix the sour cream and smoked paprika in small bowl. Top latkes with sour cream or allow guests to serve themselves.