A simple side dish, for Hanukkah perhaps.
You could call these latkes, or not, depending on how badly you’re wanting to celebrate Hanukkah vegan-style. Then you’d have to serve them with applesauce and vegan sour cream, and jelly doughnuts. Or you could call them hash browns, but that brings up images of Mickey D’s and those pre-packaged, pre-formed Tater Tot-like patties.
So why don’t we just go with the Swiss, who call them Rosti? Or Rösti, if you want to get technical.
I formed my Rösti into three separate 6-inch pieces, but you could make one large Rösti if you’d prefer. Technique is crucial: Slip the browned Rösti onto a plate, cover the plate with the frying pan, and invert to brown the other side.
If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, use that; it will make short work of the prep involved. But if you don’t, or prefer to work with your hands, then be sure to watch your knuckles. Bloody knuckles are no fun; I don't even think the Swiss have a cute name for them.
Hanukkah begins on December 4, if you'd like to skip ahead.
Potato and Parsnip Rösti
About 3 potatoes, peeled and grated
3 or 4 parsnips, peeled and grated
½ onion, grated
4 thyme sprigs (lemon thyme is good)
Blot as much water from the potatoes, onion and parsnips as possible using paper towels or dish towels.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Remove the leaves from the thyme and add to the mixture.
In a large skillet heat enough olive oil to cover the pan, over medium-high heat. Spoon mixture into two or three large “pancakes” and flatten with a metal spatula. (Or make one large one; it's up to you.) After 5 or 6 minutes, peek underneath, and if the rösti has browned, slip it onto a plate and then return to the pan.
Cook until brown, another 5 minutes or so. (You might want to cover them to make sure they get heated through.)