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Potato-Celery Root Pancakes

Crisp, salty potato patties are updated with tangy celery root for a unique take on a classic dish. Choose a high-quality sea salt for sprinkling, which will contribute an appealing briny taste and additional crunch to the pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small russet potatoes, about 1 lb., peeled
  • 1 celery root, about 1/2 lb., peeled
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

Using a food processor fitted with the shredding blade, shred the potatoes and celery root. (Alternatively, shred the vegetables using the large holes of a box grater-shredder.) Line a colander with cheesecloth or a thin kitchen towel. Transfer the potatoes and celery root to the colander, set over a bowl and twist the cheesecloth tightly into a pouch, squeezing out the moisture. Let the vegetables drain for 15 minutes. Squeeze the cheesecloth again. Carefully pour out the clear liquid from the bowl, leaving behind the white starchy substance that settles in the bottom of the bowl.

Add the shallot, eggs, flour, salt and pepper to the bowl and beat with a fork until well blended. Add the shredded potatoes and celery root and toss to combine.

Preheat an oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.

Heat a large nonstick fry pan with high sides over medium-high heat. Pour in enough oil to reach 1/4 inch up the sides of the pan. When the oil begins to shimmer, carefully drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan, spacing the portions 1 inch apart. Using a spatula, gently press on the pancakes to flatten them and cook, turning once, until they are golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the pancakes to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat to cook the remaining potato mixture.

Sprinkle the pancakes with coarse sea salt and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables, by Jodi Liano (Oxmoor House, 2008).