Variegated Spiced Latkes

By Sagegreen
November 19, 2010
131 Comments


Author Notes: With a decade of experimentation making latkes, my favorites are made from a combination of russet potatoes, sweet potato, parsnip, yellow onion and fresh ginger. I like the addition of fresh milled pepper and fennel. Peanut oil is best for frying these if you want that golden crunchy brown on the outside without such fear of charring. If you have allergies, you want to use a substitute oil with a high smoke point. Of course there is always schmaltz; I probably shaved years off my life using a goose fat version, for frying, while I lived in Germany, but I am staying away from that now. I also love serving these with sour cream and homemade applesauce. If you have kosher company, (or are kosher) you can't mix sour cream with the use of animal fat....so another good reason to stay away. - SagegreenSagegreen

Food52 Review: We love the lacy, tangled appearance of these deep golden latkes. The mix of sweet potato, unpeeled Russets and parsnip keeps the pancakes from being stodgy, and the fennel and fresh ginger tickle your tongue in the most pleasant of ways. It may seem like Sagegreen calls for an awful lot of flour, but there's no trace of that raw flour taste once these guys are fried. These latkes are great with sour cream and applesauce, but they're also pretty addictive with nothing more than a shower of fine sea salt. - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, pared (about 1 cup)
  • 1 parsnip, pared (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 yellow onion (@1/2 cup)
  • 2-3 russet potatoes (or yukon gold) (@2 cups)
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated (@1 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh milled ground fennel seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh milled black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 ounces flour
  • peanut or other high smoke point oil
  • homemade applesauce for serving
  • sour cream, fage, or creme fraiche for serving

Directions

  1. Hand grate the sweet potato, onion, and parsnip using the large holes into a large bowl first. I think hand grating is the only way to go for these.
  2. Wash and scrub the russet potatoes very well, leaving the skins on. Remove any imperfections. Grate these last into the bowl with the other vegetables. Add the salt, pepper, fennel, and ginger. Let rest a few minutes.
  3. Using a colander (or cheesecloth if you prefer) wring all the excess moisture from the mix. Repeat, then return to the bowl. You can also squeeze handfuls of the mix in your hands to help.
  4. Mix in the beaten eggs and flour.
  5. Generously coat the bottom of a heavy pan with peanut oil (or other suitable oil). The oil need not be deeper than 1/8 inch, if even that. If you prefer thicker latkes, then you might have up to1/4 inch oil. Heat to medium high until a drop of liquid would sizzle in the pan.
  6. Working in small batches ladle the mix to the heated pan to form 5-7 latkes with about a 3 inch diameter and about a 1/4 inch thickness after pressing down gently on the mix with a spatula. Fry each one on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side until golden. Try to keep the depth of oil as low as possible, but make sure the vegetables cook through- soft on the inside, crunchy on the outside. Drain on paper towels. You should have 15-20 latkes from this recipe.
  7. Serve warm with generous dollops of sour cream and preferably homemade heirloom applesauce.

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Reviews (131) Questions (3)

131 Comments

TFried November 26, 2013
I'm going to try these tomorrow for Thanksgivikkah, but my MIL is gluten free. Any thoughts/has anybody tried making these with a gluten free flour substitute? Anything I should keep in mind? Anything else I need to add to replace all the gluteny goodness?
 
Rachel S. December 20, 2012
We enjoy trying different kinds of latkes so I decided to give these a try. Honestly, they were ok but I won't be making them again. One person felt they were an Indian food inspired latkes. I love ginger but I discovered not in my latkes. I guess I'm a traditionalist because my favorite continues to be the latkes I grew up with - Kyeftes de Prasa (leek/potato latkes) - I'm of Sephardic heritage. Thanks for something new to try!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 25, 2012
Thanks for giving this a go. Your leek and potato combination do sound classic.
 
1172 C. December 22, 2011
I made these last night for Hanukkah and they were a big hit! Thank you.
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 22, 2011
So glad you liked them. Thanks for sharing!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen November 14, 2011
Opps. I wanted to add Hanukkah as a category for this recipe, but guess it needs to be done by the editors now.
 
hardlikearmour November 14, 2011
Since it's a winning recipe you can't edit it, even to add tags. I'm sure if you e-mail the editors they would gladly add Hanukkah as a tag!
 
mboerner October 3, 2011
Ginger with latkes? What happened to authentic taste?
 
TiggyBee October 3, 2011
mboerner, you need to try these, because they're really delicious! I've made them a few times and they never disappoint.
 
Bevi October 4, 2011
Scroll down to see Sagegreen make this recipe on a cooking show filmed in her local area.
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen October 4, 2011
Thanks, folks! You know if you didn't want the ginger, you could simply leave that out, or use less, as Bevi suggests. But I happen to like results of the blend of vegetables and spices in this recipe and am really happy others have too! Of course, an authentic basic latke recipe is a classic to savor.
 
mboerner October 3, 2011
Ginger with latkes? What happened to authentic taste?
 
Bevi October 4, 2011
I also made these. They ARE really delicious. You can also decrease the amount of ginger you use.
 
Erin P. May 8, 2011
I made these with the sweet and spicy horseradish sauce, http://www.food52.com/recipes/3544_sweet_and_spicy_horseradish_dressing, and they were a smash hit! Soo good Sagegreen! <br /><br />And Thanks food52 for a great food site!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen May 8, 2011
Thanks so much flavorfarm. What a great combination you made with the horseradish recipe. I will have to try that out, too.
 
LloJo January 20, 2011
Cool video!!!! Reminded me I need to make these again. So nice to see you!<br />
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen May 8, 2011
Many thanks. EDL!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen January 19, 2011
Here is a link to a video from a local TV show where we created these live on January 19, 2011 with Channel 22 Mass Appeal under their taste appeal segment:<br /><object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" id="video" width="640" height="520" data="http://www.wwlp.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=7158"><param
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen January 20, 2011
oops, here is the link:<br />http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/mass_appeal/taste/spiced-latkes<br /><object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" id="video" width="640" height="520" data="http://www.wwlp.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=7158"><param
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen January 20, 2011
http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/mass_appeal/taste/spiced-latkes<br />
 
micki B. December 11, 2010
Congratulations...Hopefully you received the e-mail I sent you also...food 52 is so much fun is'nt it...Have a happy holiday. Best, Micki
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 11, 2010
Yes, thanks, Micki. It has been fun to get know you better through this site, too. I remember first falling in love with your snowflake plum soup that is so beautiful. Have enjoyed our email as well. Happy Holidays!
 
adamnsvetcooking December 10, 2010
YaY!! Sage:)
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 10, 2010
Thanks, adamsvetcooking! Good luck to you with the end of the term, too. Busy time!
 
ChefJune December 10, 2010
Congrats on the win, Sagegreen. I love this recipe. I think next year I will use your ingredients with my food processor method for my latkes. In fact, I might not wait for next Hanukkah to give them a try.
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 10, 2010
Thanks, ChefJune. I have never tried using a food processor for latkes. Please let me know how it works out if you do. Actually, I do not even have a food processor, only a blender!
 
ChefJune December 11, 2010
hahah! and I don't have a blender! The food processor grater makes the shreds long and lacy. A blender would liquefy them.
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 11, 2010
LOL. That's why I stick to the old fashioned box grater!
 
vvvanessa December 9, 2010
congrats and yum!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 9, 2010
Thanks, vvvanessa! Love your mint limeade.
 
ashleychasesdinner December 8, 2010
Congrats Sagegreen! I am so happy for you!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, ashley_samuel_pierson. Cooking is a such stress reliever for me, too!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Wow! I am so incredibly honored with this award. And the fact that this is the last night of Hanukkah, with all 8 candles, makes this a blessing! As my very dear Jewish friends are pointing out, this isn't bad for someone who isn't even Jewish! I have just finished teaching my last class of the term tonight. What a wonderful finish. I am so grateful to everyone for all your good wishes.
 
lapadia December 8, 2010
Congratulations, Sagegreen, how sweet it is, and thanks for sharing so many of your great recipe ideas!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, lapadia....pretty soon it will be time to come back to earth.
 
TheWimpyVegetarian December 8, 2010
Congrats sagegreen!!! I'm sooo happy for you! You're such a wonderfully creative addition to this site and I love seeing and trying all that you come up with!! Love this one!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, ChezSuzanne!
 
Stockout December 8, 2010
Congratulations, I knew you had a winner the first time I saw this recipe. I will put it on my list of things to make that is growing longer and longer by the week. I just love this site!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks. This site is so easy to love, too!
 
TiggyBee December 8, 2010
Congrats Sagegreen!! How exciting!!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, TiggyBee. I am almost giddy with excitement.
 
mrslarkin December 8, 2010
Congrats Sagegreen! Great recipe!!!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, mrslarkin!
 
hardlikearmour December 8, 2010
Congrats! I had a feeling you were going to win this one!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, but I really thought that I was not going to win!
 
Bevi December 8, 2010
Yay Sagegreen!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, Bevi!
 
fiveandspice December 8, 2010
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, fiveandspice!
 
dymnyno December 8, 2010
Congratulations on winning this contest and thank you for all your tasty recipes.
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, dymnyno. This is the hour in the sun, even though it is getting late....
 
cheese1227 December 8, 2010
Fabulous win!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, cheese1227! You helped me prepare for another possible loss well, though!
 
Midge December 8, 2010
Hurray Sagegreen!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, Midge!
 
gingerroot December 8, 2010
Woo-hoo! Congratulations, Sagegreen! I am so happy for you. A well-deserved win!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, gingerroot. This is so sweet!
 
nannydeb December 8, 2010
Congratulations!!!!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, nannydeb! I remember your lovely heirloom tomato win!
 
Kitchen B. December 8, 2010
Congrats Sagegreen. Fantastic win, fantastic recipes (as most of yours are) and very best wishes!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, Kitchen Butterfly!
 
drbabs December 8, 2010
Congratulations, Annaliese, I am so happy for you!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 8, 2010
Thanks, Barbara!
 
Threemealsaday December 6, 2010
Congrats. Your efforts paid off. An interesting mixture of ingredients. I am not sure I can add creme fraiche after the south park episode :-0
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 6, 2010
Thanks! LOL!
 
mrslarkin December 6, 2010
This was dinner tonight!! I realized I was out of fennel seed halfway through the recipe, so I subbed celery seed instead - delicious! I used my OXO potato ricer to squeeze the liquid out of the grated potatoes - works very well! Thanks, Sagegreen, for a fantastic recipe.
 
lapadia December 6, 2010
I love using my potato ricer, it works great for recipes using grated zucchini too!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 6, 2010
Thanks so much, mrslarkin. It is always an honor when someone makes a recipe of mine! I am so glad you liked it! I will be making your sage scones later this month.
 
LloJo December 5, 2010
I have never made latkes before... until today. They were a lot of work to prepare (although having watched A&M's great video I knew what I was letting myself in for! I also rarely fry anything, being a bit of a health nut, but I had all the ingredients and gave them a go. They were great - I finally got the trick of how much mixture to use to get the right size latke, and how long to cook them for, by the final batch!<br /><br />All that said, they came out great. I served them for brunch with a poached egg. I think next time I might up the salt - I use French sea salt and only used around half a teaspoon, so maybe that was my fault. They also, despite the wonderful seasoning, tasted a tiny bit bland to my taste - I couldn't detect the fennel OR the ginger, but no doubt they enhanced the flavour. I happened to have made the awesome sriracha from a previous contest, on Friday, and so we added that to make them a bit zingier!<br /><br />Anyway, thanks for the recipe, for you inspired me to try something new, and to think how I might make my own additions next time, and I feel that that is what this site is all about - branching out, learning, being creative.<br /><br />Congrats!<br />
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 5, 2010
Thank you so much, josefa!. It is always a great honor when someone makes your recipe. I did cut down on the amount of my spices for this recipe, because I find other folks find them too much. If you do make these again, you can play with using less oil, more ginger, more pepper, and more fennel. I would suggest you double all. When another recipe of mine was tested the amount of my suggested pepper had been reported as too zealous! I think I will add more cautionary notes about the spice amounts suggesting "to taste." This site has really inspired me to try new ideas.
 
Kitchen B. December 4, 2010
Congrats Sagegreen. It sounds like a great recipe with a tasty flavour profile
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 4, 2010
Thank you, Kitchen Butterfly. Your recipes are always so inspiring, you can almost taste them on the screen.
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, everyone, for all your encouragement! Thanks to A & M for selecting my recipe this week for the finals. It is a great honor. Very stiff competition against the golden panko latke, which even sounds so wonderful to say. The community at Food52 is incredibly supportive. And the themes really inspire me to think up new ideas each week. I really love being a part of the community!
 
fiveandspice December 3, 2010
Hear, hear! :)
 
Bevi December 2, 2010
This is so creative!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, Bevi. I hope you will try them sometime.
 
ed O. December 2, 2010
greatGgreat!!!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks!
 
omarston December 2, 2010
I love the diversity and attention to health in your recipes!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, o!
 
gingerroot December 2, 2010
I am so thrilled you are a finalist! I had a feeling about these...can't wait to try them. Congratulations, Sagegreen!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, gingerroot! It really is thrilling, (especially during this otherwise trying week....since I had a flat tire yesterday, a tree come down earlier, and lost my favorite glasses amidst all the branches).
 
MyCommunalTable December 2, 2010
Congratulations! Sound great!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, MyCommunalTable!
 
wanderash December 2, 2010
great recipe! congrats Sagegreen!!!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thank you, wanderash. I love your blog! The photos are so engaging.
 
cookinginvictoria December 2, 2010
Sounds really divine with the addition of sweet potatoes, parsnips and ginger. I look forward to making this recipe. Congrats on being a finalist!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, cookinginvictoria. Let me know if you make them what you think.
 
TheWimpyVegetarian December 2, 2010
I love how you pulled in sweet potatoes and parsnips. I've got everything in my kitchen to make these except the white potatoes - so I'll stop and pick up some this afternoon! Can't wait to make them. And CONGRATULATIONS for being a finalist!!!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, ChezSuzanne. Russets or Yukon golds work best for the white potato. Let me know how you like them!
 
Kayb December 2, 2010
Congrats! Will be trying these over the holidays!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, Kayb. Let me know how you like them when you do.
 
lapadia December 2, 2010
I'm thrilled for you, Sagegreen, congratulations!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thank you, lapadia!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
With regard to the amount of flour, it is pretty amazing that you can easily use 3 oz with the 2 eggs. You can also cut it down to 1 or 2 oz. or even increase it to 4 and the recipe works well. I tend to use more when I have not as vigorously squeezed out as much liquid from the mix as I could have.
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
And I would like to note that the idea for combining fennel with pepper I attribute to thirschfeld. Ever since I tested his fennel and pepper crusted swordfish this summer, I have been experimenting with that great combination in new ways.
 
drbabs December 2, 2010
Congratulations on being a finalist! I'm so happy for you!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thank you, Barbara! It adds a spark to the week, that's for sure!
 
fiveandspice December 2, 2010
Congrats! These look remarkable. Also, as a nutritionist I can assuage your fears about goose fat, it's actually not terribly bad for you at all! Better than corn or soybean oil, for sure! :)
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, fiveandspice. Good to know!
 
cheese1227 December 2, 2010
Yeah, so pleased to see you in the finalist slot with this lovely recipe, which, I think I am going to make for dinner!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, cheese1227! Please let me know what you think.
 
cheese1227 December 2, 2010
"Yum-O" was the response from my Hannukkah celebrating taster!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks so much! I am so glad you liked them. I do wish I had come up with a jazzier name for these, celebrating all the root vegetables.
 
nannydeb December 2, 2010
Congrats Sagegreen! Good luck!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, nannydeb! It is exciting to be a finalist again. And if this recipe is not the winner, then I get to join pierino's exclusive club!
 
cheese1227 December 2, 2010
What's the club?
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Pierino's pet peeve on his cook profile is that he has been nominated twice as a finalist, but has not become one! Not a bad club at all to join.
 
cheese1227 December 2, 2010
Ahh, I see. I guess I am unkowingly in that club. It took me four tries.
 
TheWimpyVegetarian December 2, 2010
It took me 3. Hang in there!
 
ashleychasesdinner December 2, 2010
Congratulations sagegreen!! These look so good. I can't wait to try!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thank you! I hope you do!
 
hardlikearmour December 2, 2010
Congrats! These look really delicious, I love your flavor combination.
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thank you hardlikearmour!
 
Midge December 2, 2010
Oh yum, these look outstanding. Congrats Sagegreen!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, Midge. It is exciting to be a finalist!
 
monkeymom December 2, 2010
congrats to you sagegreen!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen December 2, 2010
Thanks, monkeymom!
 
drbabs November 21, 2010
Really interesting combination of flavors. And beautiful colors. Great recipe!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen November 21, 2010
Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to you, drbabs!
 
cheese1227 November 20, 2010
These look fabulous!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen November 21, 2010
Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to you, cheese1227!
 
gingerroot November 20, 2010
These look and sound really delicious. Love the ginger addition. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, Sagegreen!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen November 21, 2010
You as well, gingerroot! Thanks.These are delicious.
 
dymnyno November 19, 2010
I wish that I had all the ingredients for this tonight...darn!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen November 21, 2010
Thanks, dymnyo. I wish I could have invited you over for some. Happy Thanksgiving!
 
testkitchenette November 19, 2010
I wish that fork was coming toward my mouth right now!
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen November 21, 2010
If you were my neighbor, you could stop on by! Thanks.
 
Lizthechef November 19, 2010
I made a bet with myself that you would post among the first dozen and I won! Your recipe looks wonderful...
 
Author Comment
Sagegreen November 19, 2010
Thanks, Lizthechef! I was hoping to fit in a recipe before leaving for NYC. I am bringing marzipan fruits to my opening there tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving to you.
 
Lizthechef November 19, 2010
And a Happy Thanksgiving to you, my Hungarian sister.