The Every Side

It's good to have go-to recipes and tried and true menus. We all have them and our lives are better for it. But sometimes we want something a little different, too. But what if one of those different things also had the potential to be a go-to menu item? And what if it was the kind of item that would be at home on a plate any time of the day? Well, look no further:

Those are Parsnip Fritters. A root vegetable like potatoes or carrots, parsnips have a light, almost sweet flavor (particularly when they've been harvested after winter thaw) and do well in a wide variety of cooked dishes. Here, they get a treatment not unlike hash browns and are paired with shredded potatoes and a nice selection of fresh herbs. The resulting fritters have a crisp exterior and a tender interior with a sweet, herby finish.

They are amazing at the breakfast table and will stand in for hash browns on any plate. They are also a good stand in for potato or rice dishes at the dinner table. I'm particularly fond of pairing them with grilled meats. You can serve them on their own or topped with a dollop of sour cream, salsa, or even a splash of hot sauce. If you have leftovers, lay them between sheets of wax paper before refrigerating them and reheat them by tossing them into a hot pan with just a quick coating of cooking spray.

Parsnip Fritters

  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled
  • 1/2 pound russet potato, peeled
  • 1/3 cup diced green onion
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 T. minced dill
  • 1 1/2 T. minced parsley
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup fat of your choice, for frying

Prepare the vegetables by grating them coarsely. Transfer the grated veggies to a bowl. Add the green onions, herbs, salt, and flour. Toss until well combined. Stir in the eggs and mix until everything is well incorporated.

Heat your cooking fat (I used bacon fat — YUM!) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, spoon scoops of the mixture into the skillet, flattening gently with a spatula. Cook until the patties are golden brown and crisp, about 3-4 minutes per side. Serve warm with anything from eggs and bacon for breakfast to grilled pork chops and a green salad for dinner.

  • Yields: 8-10 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes