Arugula Salad with Sweet Potato–Parsnip Pancakes, Chives, & Blue Cheese
This robust salad course marries salty, sweet, spicy, and tangy flavors with an ideal mix of textures. For a delicious finger-food variation on the recipe, omit the salad and top each warm pancake with blue cheese and a generous grind of black pepper.
- 1 cup peeled and coarsely grated sweet potato
- 1 cup peeled and coarsely grated parsnip
- ¼ cup peeled and coarsely grated yellow onion
- ¾ teaspoon salt divided
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup finely chopped chives
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg beaten
- 5 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
- 4 cups arugula
- ½ cup crumbled blue cheese such as Crema de Blue or Maytag Blue
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh chive sprigs for garnish optional
- In medium bowl, combine grated sweet potato and parsnip. Reserve 1 teaspoon grated onion for salad dressing; add remaining onion and ½ teaspoon salt to grated veggies. Mix well, and let stand 10 minutes.
- In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, the reserved teaspoon grated onion, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt to make dressing. Smash garlic clove, and add it whole to dressing mixture to infuse; set aside.
- Transfer sweet potato mixture from bowl to cheesecloth-lined colander; gather ends of cloth to squeeze vegetable mixture and wring out excess liquid. Wipe out any moisture in bowl, and return sweet potato mixture to it; stir in chopped chives and flour. Add egg, mixing until well combined.
- Heat oven to 175°F, and place a baking sheet, lined with paper towel, in oven (keep a close eye on it and do not leave in oven any longer than necessary). Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in 9-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, drop heaping tablespoons of sweet potato mixture— 4 at a time—into oil, spreading mixture with back of spoon to make 2-inch wide pancakes. Cook 2 minutes; turn pancakes to brown other side and cook through, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer pancakes to lined baking sheet in oven; repeat frying, using more vegetable oil as needed, to cook remaining vegetable mixture, making a total of 12 pancakes.
- Just before serving, remove garlic from salad dressing and discard. Toss arugula with dressing, and divide among four serving plates. Arrange 3 pancakes and 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese on top of each salad. Sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper. If desired, garnish with fresh chive sprigs, and serve.