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How to Make Spicy Vegetable Latkes

3 of 8 in Series: The Essentials of Making Hanukkah Latkes

Although potatoes are by far the most popular latke, you can make latkes from other vegetables, too. They become a welcome change during Hanukkah; not everyone wants to eat potato pancakes every day.

You can make non-potato latkes from any vegetable you like, including leeks, spinach, squash, mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, greens, and zucchini. If you’d like a variety of tastes and textures in each latke, you can combine a few vegetables for your latke mixture.

Serve veggie latkes the same way as potato latkes. With pancakes from some vegetables like cauliflower or spinach, you may prefer a spicy salsa or other topping instead of applesauce.

Spicy Vegetable Latkes

Depending on the vegetable you choose, you either cook it and chop it, or you grate it raw. Then you mix the vegetable with seasonings, egg, and usually flour, bread crumbs, or matzo meal to hold it together.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 appetizer or side-dish servings (12 to 14 small pancakes)

Keeping kosher: Pareve

3/4 cup coarsely grated zucchini

4 ounces small mushrooms

5 tablespoons olive oil, more if needed

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 cup frozen peas, cooked

1/2 cup frozen corn, cooked

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Cayenne pepper to taste

2 large eggs, slightly beaten

3 tablespoons matzo meal

  1. Put grated zucchini in a colander. Squeeze by handfuls to remove excess liquid; discard liquid. Leave zucchini in colander while preparing next ingredients.

  2. Halve mushrooms, place them cut side down on board, and slice thin. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until onions and mushrooms are tender. Add cumin and turmeric and stir over low heat for a few seconds.

  3. Transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl. Add zucchini, peas, and corn and mix well. Add salt, pepper, oregano, and cayenne to taste. Stir in eggs and then matzo meal.

  4. Heat 3 or 4 tablespoons oil in a deep heavy large skillet. For each latke, add 1 or 2 heaping tablespoons of vegetable mixture to pan. Flatten them slightly with back of a spoon. Sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Turn very carefully using two spatulas.

  5. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Stir mixture before sautéing each new batch. If all the oil is absorbed during sautéing, add 1 tablespoon more oil to pan. Serve hot.

If your mushrooms are large, quarter them before slicing. Any large pieces of food in latkes can prevent them from holding together. Keep this point in mind when you create your own.

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