While this combination of shredded celeriac, prosciutto and fresh herbs is a more refined take on the traditional version of Polish rice cakes – typically paired with grated or mashed potato – the resulting rendition is every bit as satisfying. Pickled beetroot is also popular in Poland and is characteristically served alongside heavier fare to provide taste and textural contrast, as well as a flush of colour.
- 2 eggs
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- 75 g (½ cup) plain flour
- 200 g (3 cups) cooked white rice (made from 1½ cups uncooked rice), cooled
- vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
- 300 g (about ½) celeriac, peeled, thinly shredded
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 120 g (½ cup) sour cream
- 2 tbsp chopped dill leaves
- 12 slices (180 g) prosciutto
Pickled baby beetroot
- 250 ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar
- 55 g (⅓ cup) caster sugar
- 1 tsp whole mixed peppercorns
- 6 juniper berries
- 2 bunches (1 kg) baby beetroot, trimmed, peeled
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
DRINK Franziskaner Hefe Weissbier, Bavaria, Germany (500 ml, $5)
To make pickled baby beetroot, place vinegar, 125 ml water, sugar, peppercorns, juniper berries and ½ tsp salt in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add beetroot, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover surface with a cartouche (see Note) and simmer for 45 minutes or until beetroot is tender. Cool beetroot in cooking liquid.
Place eggs and milk in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Sift in flour, whisking to combine, then add rice, mixing until well combined.
Fill a large, non-stick frying pan with 3 cm oil and place over medium heat. Working in batches, add ¼-cup portions of batter to pan and cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with remaining batter to make 12 rice cakes.
Combine celeriac, lemon juice and parsley in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Combine sour cream and dill in another bowl and set aside. Top rice cakes with sour cream mixture, celeriac mixture and prosciutto slices. Serve with pickled baby beetroot.
• This is a paper lid that is placed directly on the surface of food during cooking to slow down the reduction of moisture. To make your own, take a square sheet of baking paper slightly larger than the pan you intend to use. Fold in half on the diagonal, then repeat to make a small triangle. Unfold paper and gently place over pan, with centre crease marking lined up over the centre of your pan. Using scissors, trim overlapping edges of paper to create a circle that fits snugly into your pan.
Photography by Chris Chen. Drinks suggestions by Dan Coward.