There’s something so cozy and wholesome about potato pancakes. They’re crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside and a wonderful palette awaiting a dollop of sour cream or applesauce.
Although I don’t have an ethnic tradition of latkes in my background, I’ve taken a traditional recipe from a Jewish friend of mine and adapted it to use whatever is coming in from the garden or left over in the fridge.
This is one of my favorite ways to use leftover mashed sweet and white potatoes around the holidays. The best part is that you can use your imagination and creativity to combine all sorts of vegetables and seasonings.
The basic recipe:
1 c. mashed or grated sweet potatoes
1 c. mashed white potatoes
½ small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ c. flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion and garlic in a small amount of olive oil. Mix all ingredients in large bowl and drop by large spoonfuls into pan glazed with olive oil. Pat the cakes flat. Saute until browned; flip and brown on the other side. Alternatively you can place on parchment or a silpat on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Repeat with the rest of batter.
Serve warm by themselves with a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and a dollop of applesauce or currant jelly or whatever other jelly you have on hand. Or serve cold over a fresh salad dressed with vinaigrette and sprinkle with goat cheese or feta.
Riffs on the recipe:
1 cup of any combination of grated raw beets, carrots, parsnips, finely chopped greens
You can also add cooked grains (quinoa, bulgur, oatmeal), mashed cooked beans (black, garbanzo, lentils). Just remember that the drier the mix, the more binder you may need such an additional egg.
Check the recipe tab for zucchini latkes and quinoa cakes