Beet Rosti with Rosemary

recipe via Mark Bittman; image via A Season to Taste 

I cannot tell a lie. I love Mark Bittman so. Even when he fails me, I still love him. I’ve made this beet rosti recipe THREE times and had a friend make it for me. Not once has it ever been table pretty, but it’s so delicious and ingredient light that I will continue to make it again and again.
Intended presentation aside, it still works wonderfully served up in a bowl. If you make this recipe into the beautiful pancake that Mr. Bittman intends, will you send pics?
[I had the fortunate opportunity to chat with Bittman last January. You bet I grilled him on this recipe. He said the key is a dime-store non-stick pan, something I have not yet put to the test.]

Keep the heat moderate — cooking too quickly will burn the sugary outside of the pancake while leaving the inside raw. And don’t forget to wear an apron when you’re grating the beets.

2 pounds beets (3 very large or 4 to 6 medium)
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
Minced parsley or a few rosemary leaves for garnish

1. Trim beets, and peel them as you would potatoes; grate them in food processor or by hand. Begin preheating 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat.

2. Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.

3. Put butter in skillet; heat until it begins to turn nut-brown. Scrape beet mixture into skillet, and press with spatula to form a round. With medium to medium-high heat — the pancake should gently sizzle — cook, shaking pan occasionally, until bottom of cake is nicely crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Slide cake onto a plate, top with another plate, invert the two plates, and return cake to pan. Keep cooking, adjusting heat if necessary, until other side is browned, another 10 minutes or so. Garnish, cut into wedges, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Yield 4 servings

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