Breakfast with Alice Zaslavsky: parsnip and potato latkes – recipe | Australian food and drink

Alice Zaslavsky describes her parsnip and potato latkes as “like an edible plate”, however the lacy, crunchy, deep-golden latkes are fantastic even on their very own. As soon as topped with creme fraiche, dill, finely sliced pickled beet or smoked salmon (and roe, in the event you’re feeling very fancy), they’re greater than worthy of a little bit reverence.

Consuming oily, fried meals is a practice in the case of celebrating Hanukkah, which begins on 28 November in 2021. Zaslavsky explains: “The explanation we prepare dinner numerous oily meals for Hanukkah is as a result of we’re symbolising the [lamp] oil. It was presupposed to solely final a day and it lasted for eight days, that are the eight days of Hanukkah. So we eat fried doughnuts, we eat fried latkes.

“What I like in regards to the parsnip latkes particularly – or simply latkes normally, as a result of you should utilize any type of root vegetable for latkes – is that it elevates a food that’s thought-about soiled, like of the bottom, proper, and it offers it a particular significance. It’s wonderful what can occur if you fry one thing!”

Alice Zaslavsky
Cookbook creator Alice Zaslavsky

Zaslavsky’s profession as a cookbook author and broadcaster started in 2012: when she was nonetheless working as a highschool instructor, she made it to the highest seven in MasterChef’s fourth season.


“It started as a ardour that grew to become an obsession that grew to become a dabble in actuality TV. I believed that it could be a very nice story to inform my class once I got here again, however I did higher than anticipated!”

Other than her work in broadcast media, she has developed Phenomenom (“with an M!”), a free food literacy and schooling program for colleges and lecturers.

“Loads of the food schooling in colleges is health-focused or has a diet bent, however truly youngsters don’t want that. What they want is to really feel extra snug, extra at residence with food.”

Her strategy to food schooling for kids focuses on the place components and produce have been grown, the importance of food throughout totally different cultures, and maximise an ingredient’s potential in cooking.

“While you perceive the place one thing’s from, you may higher perceive make it scrumptious if you prepare dinner with it. And you too can perceive turn out to be extra conscientious as a client.”

Zaslavsky’s household moved from Georgia to Australia when she was six or seven. She remembers her early childhood properly: her grandfather’s dacha, a weekender cottage, the place her household would develop greens and fruit; making fruit straps and sauces out of a harvest of plums, or, throughout tomato season, making satsebeli – “our personal model of passata” – as a household.

“[Georgia was] often known as the Soviet Union’s fruit bowl. Whereas the remainder of the Soviet was empty-shelved, ravenous, if we might develop it in our fertile soils, then we had entry to it.”

Hanukkah is the primary public Jewish occasion she will be able to recall attending within the former Soviet Union nation: “Folks within the Tbilisi streets piled across the outdated synagogue within the night, watching a pantomime of the rebel story of the Maccabees. I used to be up on my dad’s shoulders watching the efficiency on stage, simply laughing away and taking within the crowd.

“I realise now how massive a deal it was – this public act of rebel towards the liberty of faith that had been denied our folks and others underneath communism for many years.”

Alice Zaslavsky’s parsnip and potato latkes

Prep 25 min
Prepare dinner 25-30 min
Makes 16-18 latkes, relying on measurement

1 roasting or baking potato (160g), washed and scrubbed (no must peel)
2 medium-large parsnips (360g), washed and scrubbed (no must peel)
1 French shallot (or small brown onion), peeled
½ tsp salt flakes, plus additional for sprinkling
½ lemon
2 eggs
¼ cup (35g) plain gluten-free flour (or matzo meal)
¼ tsp floor white pepper
½ cup (125ml) sunflower oil and/or peanut oil

Serving strategies

Latkes are Hanukkah comfort food.
Crunchy latkes are Hanukkah’s final consolation food. {Photograph}: Blake Sharp-Wiggins/The Guardian

Salmon roe
Smoked salmon
Creme fraiche
Dill or chervil sprigs
Lemon wedges

Line a bowl with muslin (cheesecloth). Coarsely grate the potato, parsnip and shallot into the bowl. Add the salt and squeeze within the lemon juice. Pop the used lemon half in a small bowl of water and reserve.

Mix the combination with your fingers, squeezing out any extra moisture. Twist the fabric right into a swag, utilizing a picket spoon as a tourniquet, and cling this over the bowl to catch the liquid; you too can use a sieve or colander to maintain it elevated. Let the liquid stand undisturbed for at the very least 5 minutes to let the starch settle.

Beat the eggs in one other bowl utilizing a fork. Add the potato combination, alongside with the flour and pepper. Scoop out the starch that has settled on the underside of the primary bowl (it’ll really feel like runny glue) and add this to the bowl as properly. Use your fingers or a picket spoon to mix all of the components very properly, virtually as you’d a meat patty.

Warmth the oil over medium warmth in a big, high-sided frying pan. Check that it’s prepared by including a little bit of the combination – it ought to sizzle and color virtually instantly.

Line a baking tray with paper towel. Utilizing a ¼ cup (60ml) measuring cup, scoop out equal parts of the latke combine and form into flat patties, dipping your fingers in your bowl of reserved lemon water each now and then to cease the combination sticking to your fingers.

Breakfast with...Alice Zaslavsky’s parsnip latkes: potato and parsnip latkes topped with creme fraiche, dill, smoked salmon and salmon roe
Fry the latkes till golden. {Photograph}: Blake Sharp-Wiggins/The Guardian

Working in batches, fry the latkes for 3 to 4 minutes on both sides, till golden. Drain on paper towel, sprinkling with additional salt flakes as quickly as they arrive out of the oil. (Should you like, you may pop them on a wire rack over a baking tray and hold in a 100C oven till all of the latkes are prepared.)

Serve heat, as the bottom for all method of schmears and toppings – my favorite is the traditional creme fraiche (or bitter cream) and smoked salmon (or salmon roe), garnished with dill or chervil.

Alice Zaslavsky In Praise of Veg cover

Tip: Chilly latkes are fairly pleasant in a lunchbox. You can even refry them for bonus crispy bits if want be.

Further: Should you occur to have some schmaltz (rooster fats) or duck fats within the fridge, add a tablespoon or so to the frying oil, for additional flavour.

  • Recipe textual content from In Praise of Veg by Alice Zaslavsky, pictures by Ben Dearnley. Murdoch Books (RRP$59.99)

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