Fleur de Sel
Make your own
Beetroot, Carrot and Parsnip Crisps (Chips)
I am a crisp addict. ( I mean chips for my North American chums) I love a packet of crisps when watching telly or with a sandwich for lunch, and yes, I know that they are not that healthy ~ but I just love them. My earliest memories of crisps are when my mum and dad used to stop at a country pub for a bite to eat or a drink whilst on a long journey; in those days children were NOT allowed inside, so I was treated to a bottle of “pop” and a packet of Smiths Crisps either in the car or in the beer garden, and what a treat it was.
Smiths crisps were my favourite and you used to get that little blue waxed packet of salt in the bottom of the crisps, so you salted them yourself……a much better idea than the “ready salted” of today. The “pop” was Vimto or Dandelion and Burdock and the bottles had a red rubber stopper on a flip back glass lid ~ everything was used again, talk about recycling, we were MUCH better at it back then than we ever are now.
Nowadays we take crisps and soft drinks for granted, but it really was a treat back in the early 60’s and they only entered our house at Christmas and Birthdays……or when I was treated to them when we were out. I still love commercial crisps, and my favourite flavour is ready salted; I also still hanker after a crisp sandwich! Bread and potatoes, a carb overload! However, as I am all grown up and more concerned about my health and weight now, I have devised a healthier crispy snack ~ fried beetroot, carrots and parsnips ~ and if you fry these on light olive oil or rapeseed oil, that’s even better ~ sprinkle lightly with fine French Fleur de Sel salt for an extra treat.
|Photo by BBC Food|
These are refined enough to make it to the amuse bouche table with apéritifs……we also like them when served with home-made soup ~ sprinkle a few of these roots on top as a crunchy garnish. I have made a batch recently as I am gallantly battling my way through mountains of beetroot and carrots that were a kind gift from a gardening friend…..so, a wee handful with a glass of wine whilst viewing Spooks last night was rather nice.
Once these have been fried and well drained, they stay crisp for about 2 days in a VERY airtight container, and they are also fairly well behaved on the crispy front when served in open bowls ~ staying fresh for about 3 to 4 hours. Serve them with a selection of dips for an extra dimension…..I like anything that is creamy with wads of garlic…………..
We also like them when served as an accompaniment to a round of sandwiches, as seen above and below….
You can add spices and other flavourings, I don’t as I am very boring and only like crisps that are salted ~ but I have served them with curry power, cumin and smoked paprika added, as well as garlic and onion power, at drinks parties and special events. Make sure they are well drained and you will be rewarded with crispy roots……and they are jolly colourful too.
That’s all for today, I shall be back later ~ see you then.
Beetroot, Carrot and Parsnip Crisps
Fleur de Sel
Crisply fried roots, my favourite trio of parsnips, carrots and beetroot (beets) are lightly doused with fine French salt, fleur de sel. These are amazing with apéritifs and also finish off a simple sandwich, salad or soup lunch or with a flourish! You do need a mandolin to cut these thinly or a huge amount of precision and patience if you slice them by hand. You could add a few chopped fresh herbs to the salt, but I really think that the roots and fleur de sel sing beautifully by themselves. Another idea is to prepare several small bowls of the crisps/chips, seasoning each one differently. curry, cumin or ground star anise are all perfect. I’ll leave it up to you!
- 3 beetroots, peeled
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 3 parsnips, peeled
- vegetable oil ( for frying), or rapeseed oil or light olive oil
- fleur de sel
- fresh herbs, finely chopped (optional)
- ground cumin (optional)
- curry powder (optional)
- ground star anise (optional)
- garlic powder (optional)
- onion powder (optional)
- celery salt (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large chip pan or deep fat fryer.(190C/380F)
- Peel the beetroot (using latex gloves) then the carrots and parsnips and slice them into thin slivers using a mandolin. Place them on paper towel.
- Plunge the vegetable crisps into the hot oil, shaking to ensure that they are not sticking together. Remove when crisp, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat and fry them in batches, depending on the desired quantity.
- Season with the sel de fleur salt (mixed with herbs or spices if using) before serving.