Latkes are a traditional part of celebrating Hanukkah, but I often see them make their way into Passover Seders. And why not? They are the ultimate crowd pleaser! If you are planning on including them in your Seder this year and want to impress your guests with something a little out-of-the-ordinary, look no further!
These Rainbow Latkes look like a major departure from the traditional russet potato version, but those who are die-hard fans of the original might find these to be surprisingly similar. They take on a beautiful ruby hue thanks to the beets, but are also studded with carrots and purple potatoes to give you almost all the colors of the rainbow (once you sprinkle on the chives, all we’re missing is blue!). The flavor is more complex and layered than the all-potato latkes while still maintaining that homey, comfort-food taste. The parsnips add a hint of herbal sweetness and the beets lend a pleasant, earthy fragrance to the dish.
I love to pair these latkes with MM Local Pear Sauce. The rich, brown-sugar sweetness of the pears adds a wonderful contrast and feels unexpected and yet familiar at the same time. MM Local items are unique to Colorado and are made entirely with locally-grown produce. Their products are available in many markets across Colorado, but if you can't find the pear sauce, regular ol' apple sauce works just as well. Once you try this version of the traditional side dish, you might just want to adopt a brand new tradition! —the preservery.
Scrub root vegetables well and peel, if desired. Shred the potatoes, carrot, parsnip and onion on a box grater (alternatively, a food processor on the grater setting makes fast work of this step). Place grated vegetables in a large bowl and set aside.
Lay out some old newspaper to protect your work surface and grate the beet. Set the grated beet aside in a separate bowl and toss with the matzo meal. Add egg, salt and pepper to root vegetable mixture and toss well to combine. Add matzo-coated beets and toss quickly with a fork to minimize “bleeding.”
Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan well. Once oil is hot, reduce the heat, slightly, to prevent smoking. Wet your hands with cold water and form vegetable mixture into flat cakes, using about 1/3 a cup of the mixture per latke (you can use more if you like larger latkes). Gently place each latke in the hot oil and fry until golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes per side. Allow to drain on newspaper or paper towels and serve hot, with pear sauce (or applesauce) on the side and plenty of chives sprinkled on the top.