November is a month of comfort food, which means that warming soups, chunky stews and spicy curries feel just right at the moment. In the cooler months I tend to stock lots of root vegetables which are perfect staple ingredients for these kinds of dishes – think sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips and rutabaga.
Root veggies keep for a long while when stored in the right conditions, so I often find myself with a surplus that needs to be used up. Beyond simply roasting root vegetables, or adding them to the warming one-pot dishes mentioned above, one great way to shake things up is to make root vegetable fritters or pancakes.
I had a big bunch of carrots that I couldn’t decide what to do with, as well as a bag of leftover baby carrots from when I made pumpkin hummus. When I came across a recipe for carrot pancakes with salted yogurt in Bon Appétit, I knew they’d be the perfect way to use up my carrot odds and ends. I made a few tweaks to the recipe but otherwise it’s a pretty close adaptation.
Fried foods don’t usually make an appearance in my cooking repertoire, but I have a soft spot for these carrot fritters. Similar to potato latkes, they’re cooked in a small amount of hot oil to achieve that golden brown outer crust. It’s not an everyday kind of snack but a nice treat to serve on a special occasion.
The good news about the frying part is that as long as the oil is hot enough, the pancakes won’t soak up too much of it. Once they’ve been cooked on both sides, you place them on a paper towel-lined wire rack to drain. Most of the excess oil drips away, leaving you with light crisp carrot pancakes that aren’t greasy or heavy at all.
What’s your favourite way to use up root vegetables?
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 lb carrots, coarsley grated
- 1/3 chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil (or more as needed)
- Greek yogurt for serving (optional)
- Mix the eggs, carrots, herbs and flour in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Using measuring cup, scoop three 1/2-cupfuls of carrot mixture into the skillet, pressing each to 1/2-inch thickness with a spatula. Cook until pancakes are golden brown, about 3 mins per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined cooling rack. Repeat until the carrot mixture has been used up, adding more oil to the pan if needed.
- Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top if desired.