This is a lovely vegan brunch option. Just fancy enough to give you that pampered Sunday morning feeling, but simple and quick enough for lazy Sunday heads, with the exception of hungover ones! If you’re hungover, get someone else to make this for you! ;-)
Fennel is a vegetable that I don’t ever buy myself to cook with, but once again my weekly organic fruit & veggies box delivery brought me a new opportunity. Much like when I was presented with four beetroot, when I saw the leafy fronds of fennel sticking out of my order I was excited to get the opportunity to try out cooking a vegetable which I rarely eat, and never cook with. I became converted to beetroot a few weeks ago, and now I am converted to fennel! Nutrition wise, fennel has strong anti oxidant activity and is an excellent source of vitamin C. It also offers a very good source of fibre and potassium, and a good source of calcium and other minerals and vitamins. And what a beautiful flavour! It adds a wonderful fresh, sweet, lightness to the rosti without overpowering the traditional potato flavour. The crispy rosti pairs great with the warm, soft, herby bean mash. Perfect for setting you up for a busy Sunday afternoon, or you could do what I did, and take it back to bed with you while you decide how to spend your day!
- 2-3 potatoes, peeled
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 1 small onion
- Cooked beans of your choice
- 2 cloves garlic
- Fresh rosemary and thyme to season
Grate the raw potato, fennel and onion coarsely. Use a medium sized hole and try to get the strips as long as possible. Place them all in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. I put them all in the middle of the towel, make a ball, and twist the edges of the tea towel around to make a little package. With one hand, twist the free ends as tightly as you can. Squeeze the moisture out of the ball with the other. When you think you have gotten as much as you can, squeeze again!! Aaand again! Let it sit for two minutes, and squeeze once more! The mixture will not work if there is too much water.Place the mixture in a bowl and season well with pepper, and a little of the chopped herbs if you like. You can fry these on a pan, or bake in the oven for a healthier recipe. To fry, heat a good amount of oil in a pan on high heat. Reduce the heat to medium after a minute or two. Take a heaped tablespoon of the of the mixture and place in the hot oil. Push down hard several times with a spatula to make a flat compacted cake. If you have a chef’s ring, these are useful to help form the rostis and keep their shape. Push down regularly for even browning and flip once one side is browned. Make sure that they are cooked through -this will depend on how thick your rosti is. You could also lightly brown both sides and then finish in an oven at 170 degrees Celsius if your mixture is not holding together well (did you squeeze like I told you?! :-) ). For a healthier option with less oil, you can oven bake completely. Form the rostis on an oiled baking tray and bake at 170 degrees Celsius for about thirty minutes until crisping.Serve with the white bean herb mash -simply lightly fry some onion and garlic in a pan, add some cooked beans (white beans are nice with this), season and add plenty of fresh rosemary and thyme. Mash the beans and cook on a low heat until warmed through.
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