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
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.
Toss grated beets in bowl with rosemary, salt and pepper. Add about half the flour; toss well, add rest of flour, and toss again.
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.
This thick beet pancake is cooked slowly until the beet sugars caramelize and a crunchy, sweet crust forms, reminiscent of creme brulee. A touch of rosemary does not diminish the sweetness, but simply adds a dimension to this versatile side dish, which is good with braised or grilled food or can accompany a salad as a light dinner.