Nigel Slater's parsnip rosti recipe

The recipe

Peel 8 medium banana shallots, slice them in half, then unfurl the layers. Warm about 10g of butter and 4 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan, then fry the shallots over a low to moderate heat until soft and pale gold. Stir in 3 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp of sugar. Set aside once the sugar has melted and the shallots are sweet and sticky. Keep them warm.

Coarsely grate 250g of parsnips and a medium potato into a bowl, then add a beaten egg and 2 tbsp of flour. Mix well and press the grated vegetables into 6 small, thin patties. Lower the patties into a nonstick pan and fry with a thin film of groundnut oil or butter, until crisp and golden. Remove, drain briefly on kitchen paper then divide between plates.

Season 250g of goat's curd or cream cheese with a few capers, a little black pepper and some salt. Place a heaped spoonful of curd on top of each pancake and add some of the warm shallots. Serve immediately. Makes 6 to serve 3.

The trick

Use a coarse grater. Squeeze the excess liquid from the grated vegetables before adding the egg and flour. Keep the heat to a moderate level when frying the pancakes. They burn easily. Cook the shallots on a low heat, stirring regularly so they become sweet and sticky.

The twist

If goat's curd evades you, and well it might, then use full-fat cream cheese or even a soft goat's cheese. Instead of capers, season with chopped chives or tarragon or chopped, grilled bacon.

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