Parsnip Cakes with Saffron Onions

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Parsnip Cakes

Makes 4 Entrée Servings or 15 – 16 Small Cakes for Appetizers

These are a lovely vegetarian food.  You can make them small for an appetizer size, or make them larger and serve as an entrée.  I usually garnish them with a dollop of sour cream and saffron onions.  And if they are going to be used as an entrée, I place them on a bed of black herbed lentils.

3 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into large, even pieces

3 leeks, soaked to remove grit and finely chopped

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

9 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Potato flakes or Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

1.       Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Drop in parsnips and boil 3 minutes.  Quickly remove from the water and pl

ace in a bowl and place in the sink under a stream of cold water.  After a couple of minutes, drain the parsnips.

2.      Grate the parsnips.  In a large bowl combine the grated parsnips, leeks, and eggs.  Sift in the flour and season with salt and pepper and stir.

3.      Form the mixture into round cakes. Approximately 3-inch diameter and 1” high if making them for an entrée, or 1½-inch dia

meter by 1-inch high if using as appetizers.    Roll each cake in potato flakes; the flake should adhere and liberally coat the cakes.

4.      Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add a coating of oil in the pan.  When hot, place the parsnip cakes in the pan, being sure n

ot to crowd them; do multiple batches if necessary.  Cook until golden brown, flip the cake over, and cook the opposite side until golden brown, about 1½ minutes.

5.      Top the cakes with sour cream and saffron onions.


Saffron Onions

Makes Approximately 1 Cup


This recipe is from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, the cook book from the Los Angeles restaurant.

1 teaspoon Saffron

3 Tablespoons Unsalted butter

3 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil

5 cups  Sliced onions (approx. 1¼ pound)

1 Bay leaf

1 Chile de arbol, crumbled

1 teaspoon Fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.       Toast the saffron threads over medium heat until they are just dry and become brittle.  Be careful not to burn them.  Crush into a fine powder.  Dab a Tablespoon of butter into the powder, to pick it up.

2.      Heat a large pan over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Add the olive oil, remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter, and saffron.  When the butter foams, add the onions, bay, chili, thyme, and 1½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper.

3.      Cook 8 – 10 minutes, stirring often, as the onions wilt.  Turn the heat to low, and cook another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and sweet.  Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

4.      The onions will keep for three days refrigerated.

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