"The Flavor Queens" lived up to their name at Top Chef Bastyr 2013 with this flavorful, nutritious dish that was the winner at the annual cooking competition. The team made up of Anita Bermann, Selva Wohlgemuth and Flower Star beat out six other student teams with their dish Sumac and Cumin-Scented Chioggia Beet Latkes with Poached Egg and Fresh Herb Pistou.
To make the Sumac and Cumin-Scented Beet Latkes:
Mix together beets, carrots, sumac, cumin, coriander, a pinch each of salt and pepper, two beaten eggs and enough potato starch to make the mixture stick together. Shape into about 12 patties. Heat a frying pan and melt butter, adding more if needed; fry the latkes until browned, then flip over to brown the other side.
To make the Fresh Herb Pistou:
Peel all the cloves in the head of garlic and place in a small saucepan. Add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain the water, add fresh cold water to cover, and bring to a boil again. Repeat for a third time, but conserve about 1/4 cup of the boiled garlic water.
Place boiled garlic cloves, the 1/4 cup garlic water and a good splash of olive oil in a food processor and blend to a creamy paste. Scrape the paste into a small bowl. Without cleaning the food processor, add the fresh, washed and coarsely chopped parsley, watercress and basil into the processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the garlic paste back into the herb mixture along with the lemon juice and zest; pulse to mix, slowly adding the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil while processing.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Poach 12 eggs and keep warm until serving. To plate, serve each latke topped with a poached egg and drizzled with Fresh Herb Pistou.