Scorzonera Fritters

These delightful, Italian-style fritters make a wonderful appetizer, or just serve alongside a green salad to make it a full meal.

4 Scorzonera roots, trimmed of greens
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Grana-style cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup polenta
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Olive oil (for frying)
Lemon wedges (for serving)

1. Wash and scrub Scorzonera, then peel off skin with a vegetable peeler. Grate Scorzonera into a large bowl using a box grater. (You should have about 1½ cups once grated.) Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add butter to melt. Add in grated Scorzonera and thyme. Stir and fry until Scorzonera has softened, about 15 minutes, and then remove from heat.

2. In a bowl, combine Scorzonera, egg, breadcrumbs, Grana cheese, parsley and garlic, then season generously with salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 6-8 even patties (each about the size of a crab cake).

3. Place the polenta in a bowl, then dip each patty into the polenta and coat on both sides. Place pan back on medium heat and add enough olive oil to coat, Fry the fritters until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to paper-towel lined plate to drain, then serve warm with lemon wedges on the side.

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