Crispy Hazelnut Parsnip Fritters

These parsnip fritters were not planned and the idea of making them into fritters wasn’t even on the radar. I first attempted to make a parsnip noodle dish and had this grand plan in my head- the photo- the ingredients- the list of spices I wanted to use- the sauce- all planned out, but the minute I placed the parsnip on the sprializer it just would NOT budge.  Before you judge me, I can guarantee you that I know how to use one, but have you ever really noticed how oddly shaped parsnips are? At least the ones that I have always bought tend to be a little thicker on the top and then extremely thin towards the bottom. This made it super awkward on my spiral machine. I probably should have stuck it out because I gave up after the first one, but I was hungry! I will re-visit the parsnip noodle dish I had in mind at some point soon, but in the mean time I had to figure out what I was going to do with about 2 dozen parsnips.

My zucchini fritters that I posted a few months back were such a hit amongst you all, including myself, that I figured I could use the same spices that I originally had in mind, and make fritters! At first, I wasn’t sure how the taste would be, the ratio of eggs to flour, if the parsnips would need to release any water, but I thought I would just wing and give it a shot! I tend to do that a lot with cooking-  just wing it. I find that you have more of a leeway with you are cooking with throwing things together and getting things right the first or second time versus baking. Baking is such a science.

Parsnips have quickly become one of my favorite vegetables to eat and I feel they are definitely underused! Simply roasting them in the oven with olive oil, little sea salt, and ground pepper until crispy is one my favorite ways! Parsnips have a slightly sweet flavor so I wanted to use contrasting spices to balance it out.  For this, I was going for more of a nutty & savory flavor versus something on the sweet side. Honestly, you can really use any spice you would like. Once you have the amount of parsnips (i.e total cups you are using), eggs, flour & baking powder, the rest is at your command! That is the one thing I love about making fritters. Each time you make them you can use different spice element or even add in a few other veggies (corn, sweet potatoes, or a chopped apple).

For this recipe I used about 7 -9 parsnips. I purchased the ones in the bag from Whole Foods and after grating is was about 3 cups.  Mine varied in size greatly.  Once you start mixing everything together in your large mixing bowl you will be able to tell if you need to add more liquid to help bind everything together.  I do have to admit that I LOVE the parsnip fritters 100 times more than the zucchini ones! For a few reasons: One, there is hardly any water to drain from the parsnips so you don’t have to wait to make them! Therefore, they aren’t soggy at all! They are more dense in their size and hold together better! They also seemed to last longer – I almost preferred eating them cold the next day with my lunches!

After grated the parsnips, which can be a workout itself, mixing the ingredients together, I decided to fry the parsnips in a little bit of coconut oil on each side for about 2-3 minutes and then placed them in the oven to finish baking. I am such a texture freak and love a little crunch so I had to fry them! You obviously do not have to do this and you can bake them or you can solely fry them for a little longer on each side without baking them in the oven! It’s your call.  Frying the parsnip fritters gave them crispy edges and coating and finishing them off in the oven allowed them to firm up a bit and become a little dense. (Which I prefer!)

 

I love pairing the fritters along side with a salad, as an appetizer, or with a lightly fried egg on top for breakfast! 

 

 

 

 

Appetizer/Main Meal/Side
Yields: 12
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

7-9 parsnips grated (3 or so cups)*
¾ cups almond flour or hazelnut flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
3 cloves garlic, minced & finely chopped
3 tsp. pink Himalayan salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. sesame seeds
3 tbsp. chopped hazelnuts
1 tsp. fennel
2 eggs, lightly beaten
coconut oil or olive oil for frying

*For the spices & nuts: fennel, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, thyme, cumin, coriander, ground pepper; I tend to not measure. I often taste test before I add the eggs and see if I need to add anymore of either of the spices. Therefore start off with a less amount and add as you go! I added more hazelnuts (close to 1/4 cup) because I wanted more of a crunch to the mixture and a strong flavor, but do as you please!

Directions:

1.     Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.     Wash, dry, and peel the skin off of the parsnips

3.     Grate the parsnips and set aside

4.     In a large mixing bowl add the almond flour or the hazelnut flour, baking powder, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and all remaining spices. Lightly mix.

5.     Add the minced garlic, the lightly beaten egg, and the grated parsnips. Mix until well combined.

*If you find that your mixture seems dry you can add liquid at this point. As in it doesn’t seem to be binding together, mix it again, and if that isn’t working (it should) you could add 1 tbsp. of olive oil or coconut oil to the mix. I would first test it out with frying 1 fritter.  Mine was fine, so I did not test this part out.

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 6.     In a non-stick skillet heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil or coconut oil over medium high heat.

 7.     Scoop a spoonful of the mixture out (roughly ¼ cup) and form it into patties. I did not completely flatten them here, but left them on the thicker side.

8.   Place the mixture on the skillet and flatten here, slightly with the back of the spatula.

9. Cook the fritters over medium –high heat roughly 2-3 minutes on each side.  The edges will become golden and crispy. You may need to add more olive oil in between batches. Be careful they do not burn

10. Place the finished fritters on the baking sheet that was covered with parchment paper. Once all the fritters have been fried and moved to the baking sheet, put pan in the oven. 

11. The amount you continue to bake them in the oven depends on how crispy you like them.  I left the fritters in the oven for 15 minutes.

12. Serve warm.

To re-heat you can place them back in the oven under the broiler on high for a few minutes!