Monday, August 7, 2017

German Potato Pancakes with Radish Leaf Pesto

Reibekuchen or Kartoffelpuffer are a common street food in Germany, often found at festivals and Christmas Markets. These German potato pancakes or fritters are a favorite of my husband. We often indulge in one in the rare occasion we are visiting a Christmas market together. Unlike me, he's not a big Christmas Market goer.

Most of the time we eat them with applesauce or a creamy garlicky sauce. Instead, I went all fancy schmancy and made a special sharp tasting pesto from radish greens, garlic and almonds. This radish pesto recipe is also a great way to use up those radish greens. I always feel guilty about throwing out. 

The radish pesto is strong so you only need small portion to pair with the pancake and the spicy flavor goes perfectly with the crunchy golden potato pancakes. 

Almonds replace the pine nuts in traditional pesto in this recipe and are toasted for some extra flavor oomph.  I also used two large garlic cloves, if you want less garlic flavor, use only one.

You can cake the pesto a few days ahead of time which always gives the flavors longer to work together but the pesto also tastes great fresh. 

German Potato Pancakes 
with Radish Leaf Pesto
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

For the Radish Pesto:
  • Greens from 1 bunch of radishes
  • 4 radishes
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 tablespoons olive olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the Potato Pancakes:
  • 3 lbs. Potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup  all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup clarified butter

Make the Radish Pesto:

  • Wash the radish greens and pat dry. Chop into small pieces
  • Slice the radishes into rounds. 
  • Place the raw almonds in a naked frying pan over medium heat and roast until golden and fragrant. 
  • Add the chopped radish leaves, garlic cloves, toasted almonds and cheese to a food processor or blender. Add the olive oil and puree.
  • Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside. 
Make the potato pancakes:
  • Rinse and peel the potatoes. Grate the peeled potatoes into a bowl.
  • Peel the onion and dice into small pieces. Mix the potatoes and onion together.
  • Mix in the eggs and sprinkle in the flour. 
  • Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and combine thoroughly.
  • Divide the mixture into 8 portions and flatten into pancakes. Squeeze the liquid out of each pancake. 
  • Heat a layer of the clarified butter in a large skillet. Place a platter by the stove.
  • Add the potato pancakes to the pan. If bits of the pancake scatter around the pan, use a spatula to scrape everything back into a pancake shape and flatten with the spatula. You may have to do this a few times to keep the shape. I worked with one pancake at a time, using portions of the clarified butter for each. Fry the potato pancake on both sides until golden. 
  • Remove the potato pancake from the pan and place on a platter. You can use the spatula but if the pancake seems too delicate, slide it onto the platter directly from the pan.
  • Top with the radish leaf pesto, garnish with sliced radishes and serve. 

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