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.
For the roasted beetroots:
6 banana shallots peeled and halved
500g cooked beetroots, peeled and halved
rapeseed or olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp white wine or herb vinegar
For the quick pickles:
a few radishes
1 heaped tsp, bashed coriander seeds
1 tbsp runny honey
4 tbsp white wine vinegar
For the rosti:
parsnips 600g (about 4), peeled
2 large, peeled potatoes
a small bunch thyme
Break the shallots into petals and place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive or rapeseed oil, season with salt and pepper and roast at 200C/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.
Quickly make the pickle. Very thinly slice the 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 you make your rosti.
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. Beat the eggs and add them to the parsnip mixture with the thyme, season and mix well. Heat an ovenproof shallow casserole or frying pan, add a good drizzle of olive oil and add the parsnip mixture. Pat out to form a thin 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.
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. Serve each rosti topped with the beetroots and onions, a fried egg and a pinch of the pickle on the side. Sometimes a slick of mustard or a spoonful of crème fraîche is nice, too.