Recipe by Daphne Oz
Fried potato in all its forms is endlessly comforting. French fries, obviously delicious. Potato chips, my guiltiest of pleasures (but I actually feel very little guilt because I enjoy them so much). Combine potatoes with some shredded onion, a few seasonings, and some binders, and you have delicious potato pancakes. The only problem is that potatoes, though a vegetable, aren’t that good for you. Especially when fried. They’re pretty high on the glycemic index, meaning they create a sugar spike (and resulting crash) in your body, much the same way other white foods do (white rice, white bread, white sugar, etc.).
In the hope of having my (pan)cake and eating it too, I’ve subbed in some veggies with less of that sugar hit—rutabagas and parsnips—that offer a similar texture and slightly lighter flavor. These root vegetable pancakes are a gift to eggs everywhere for brunch, served under a little crème fraîche and smoked salmon for a party app, or simply paired with sour cream and applesauce for an ideal sweet-savory combo anytime.
- 2 cups of shredded rutabaga, parsnips, or sweet potato (from about 2 medium vegetables), shredded on the medium holes of a box grater
- 1 medium yellow onion, grated on the medium holes of a box grater
- 3 large egg whites, beaten
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed so mixture just holds together
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup coconut or grapeseed oil
- Flaky sea salt
- 1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- Place the grated root veggies and onion in a large kitchen towel and wring out any liquid, then add them to a medium bowl.
- Stir in the egg whites. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper to taste.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil over medium-high heat. Use a scant 1/4 cup measure to scoop pancakes into the skillet, using the bottom of the measuring cup to spread the mixture into 1/2-inch-thick patties. Cook until the first side is deeply golden brown and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn the pancakes over and brown the other side, 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Transfer the pancakes to a wire rack to cool slightly. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
- Serve the pancakes topped with a few pinches of flaky sea salt, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of scallions.