Christmas Eve Parsnip Rosti Supper
With presents to be wrapped, mulled wine to be sipped and half an eye on It’s A Wonderful Life, this is a quick, easy meal to put together amongst the business of Christmas Eve. I have spent a few winters in the snow and Christmas eve at midnight mass in doll house Swiss churches. I am a big fan of the Clean and crisp traditions of our Swiss neighbours on Christmas Eve, so this is my nod to the freshness of the swiss hills, which sits so happily amongst the richness of the rest of Christmas. Granted, it’s not a completely authentic recipe but to me, Christmas is about creating your own traditions by stealing the bits you like from others. I use pre-cooked beetroots here to keep things simple but you could easily boil and peel your own if you have the time.
FOR THE ROASTED BEETS:
6 banana shallots, peeled and halved
500g cooked beetroots, peeled and halved
Rapeseed or olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of white wine or herb vinegar
FOR THE ROSTI:
600g of parsnips (about 4), peeled
2 large potatoes, peeled
A small bunch of thyme
FOR THE QUICK PICKLES:
a few radishes
a good pinch of sea salt
a heaped teaspoon of coriander seeds, bashed
a tablespoon of runny honey
4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
6 eggs (optional)
Break the shallots into petals and place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive or rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper and roast at 200C for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile coarsely grate the parsnips and potato into a mixing bowl. Squeeze the vegetables in your hands or in a clean tea cloth to get rid of most of the moisture then put back into the bowl and add the beaten eggs and thyme, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Heat an oven proof shallow casserole or frying pan and add a good drizzle of olive oil and add the parsnip mixture pat out to form a think rosti, cook on high for a couple of minutes then put into the oven with the onions to roast for 25 minutes.
Now the onions should have had about 20 minutes so add the halved beetroots and vinegar and pop back into the oven to finish off for another 20 minutes.
Quickly make the pickle, very thinly slice the of a cucumber and radishes and pop them into a bowl with a pinch of salt, the bashed coriander seeds, honey and white wine vinegar, then scrunch together and leave to sit while make your rosti.
Once your onions and beetroots are roasted and sticky and your rosti is golden brown turn down the oven to keep everything warm.
Fry the eggs in clarified butter if using. Serve each rosti topped with the beetroots and onions, a fried egg and a pinch of the pickle on the side, and a little rocket to finish. Sometimes a slick of mustard or a spoonful of crème fraiche is nice too.