Black Rice Fritters with Turnips and Horseradish Cream – Recipe

Black Rice Cakes with Roasted Turnips and Horseradish Cream
Black Rice Fritters with Roasted Turnips and Horseradish Cream

Although black rice is an Asian ingredient, I think it reminded me in some oblique way of pumpernickel, which inspired me to deploy a favorite set of Eastern European flavors: caraway, horseradish, mustard. Those are a natural fit with the baby turnips I’d brought home from the farmer’s market.

I make lots of little pan fried cakes and fritters, out of grains, flours, or beans, and flavored with anything from kimchi to coconut. I often say that in a vegetarian meal, the grain can be thought of as the gravitational center of the plate. Fritters create a nice option for defining that center in a way other than the typical bed of rice or crust of bread.

The black rice I used was from Hinode. They sent me a sample because I’m going to be doing some recipe development and photography for them (and you’ll see those recipes here down the road), but this one was just delicious playtime for me. Their black rice is longer grain than the “forbidden rice” you may be more familiar with, though I think that will work ok in this recipe as well. A red rice or even brown rice would be ok too, but not as visually dramatic.

Reduced cream sauces, where you simmer heavy cream until it thickens, aren’t much in vogue these days, and I don’t make them often myself. But as an occasional treat, there is something rich, velvety and comforting about them. I made this sauce with grated fresh horseradish root, which was surprisingly mild, but be sure and taste yours and adjust as needed. The flavor should be present in the sauce, but not overpowering.

I cooked the turnips using a method that works with many root vegetables. They get a roast in the oven to cook through, then a sear in a hot pan to caramelize the surface and add a bit of a crust. This can also be done in the other order.

The whole grain mustard I used is this one from Beaufor. I haven’t done any exhaustive comparison tests, but I think it has a nice, balanced heat and acidity and a lovely texture from the mustard seeds. (If there is another brand you think I should try, let me know.)

By the way, did you know I started an Herbivoracious YouTube channel? There will be more videos there over time, so press the subscribe button towards the top of the page!

Black Rice Fritters with Roasted Turnips and Horseradish Cream
Vegetarian and Gluten Free
Serves 4

For the horseradish cream

  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and grated fresh horseradish root or 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  1. Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a small saucepan. Cook until the cream reaches a saucy consistency; it should coat the back of a spoon and you should be able to drag your finger through that coating and leave a clean line. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more horseradish or salt if needed. Strain and reserve.
For the turnips
  • 12 baby turnips (about 1 1/2″ inches in diameter), stems attached
  1. Preheat oven to 450. Trim the turnips so they have about 6″ of stem remaining and clean them well. Toss with a small amount of oil and roast until very tender and easily pierced with a toothpick. Set aside to cool.
For the black rice fritters and to complete the dish
  • 3 cups cooked black rice (made according to package directions – you’ll probably need about 1 1/2 cups raw rice)
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Fresh lemon thyme, or fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Several grinds of black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a medium bowl.
To complete the dish
  1. Cut the turnips in half lengthwise, leaving the stems attached as much as possible. Put one large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter. Sear the turnips until golden brown on the flat surfaces and as much as possible on the rounded sides. Add a pinch of salt, toss, and turn off heat.
  2. Gently reheat the sauce and set serving plates aside to warm.
  3. Heat another large skillet over medium heat (or I suppose you could remove the turnips and reuse that skillet). Add a thin coating of vegetable oil, and drop 1/3 cup of the black rice mixture towards the edge of the pan. Pat down into a flat cake, no more than 1/2″ thick. Repeat until the skillet is full but not crowded. Cook on one side until golden brown, about 2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side until golden brown. Repeat until all of the batter is used.
  4. To serve, put 1/4 of the sauce on each plate. Top with the black rice fritters, then the seared turnips. Add a couple of 1/4 teaspoon blobs of the whole grain mustard on the plate, and finish with a few lemon thyme leaves and a few flakes of the sea salt and a grind of black pepper. Serve immediately.


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Posted by Michael Natkin on Friday, October 5th, 2012 in Gluten-Free or modifiable, Main Courses, Recipes.

2 Responses to “Black Rice Fritters with Turnips and Horseradish Cream – Recipe”

  1. Reply
    October 5, 2012 at 6:38 am #

    Gorgeous dish, Michael!

  2. Reply
    October 5, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    This looks amazing.

    Last month, I had a dish at a restaurant involving turnips, barley, hazelnuts, and a fried egg. I’ve been dreaming of delicious turnip dishes ever since, but haven’t found just the right recipe. This looks just perfect, and I’ve got forbidden rice in my pantry. 🙂

    By the way, my Herbivoracious cookbook arrived yesterday from Amazon. Can’t wait to spend the weekend pouring through it!

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