Asparagus Latkes

May 11, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Not my grandma’s latkes or my mom’s. Because instead of starchy potatoes, we’re turning to juicy, sweet asparagus. Surprisingly—and thrillingly—these green stalks work just as well come spring. While many asparagus recipes will instruct you to snap or cut off the fibrous woody ends, there’s no need to do that here. Just start grating at the frilly top, work your way down, and stop once you get an inch or two away from your fingertips, tossing whatever is left. As with potato pancakes, you want to be aggressive with how much you wring out the vegetable matter. Squeeze, squeeze, and then squeeze some more. Excess water is the enemy of crispy edges. (And I want the crispy edges—don’t you?) If you don’t have rye flour around, don’t fret. Whole-wheat would provide a similarly nutty, earthy flavor. And, in a pinch, all-purpose works, too, though the overall flavor will be milder. Sour cream and applesauce are my family’s go-to latke accompaniments, and I like to take a similar strategy with sour cream and peach jam. Full-fat Greek yogurt works, too, as would any jammy fruit compote. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Asparagus Latkes
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 8 ounces yellow onion (about 1 medium or 2 small), halved and peeled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup rye flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Neutral oil, for pan-frying
  1. Coarsely grate the asparagus, starting at the top and discarding the bottoms. (If any stragglers resist the grater, just finely chop.) Coarsely grate the onion. (Same deal with the stragglers.)
  2. Add the grated asparagus and onion to a tea towel. Wring and squeeze over the sink to remove as much water as possible.
  3. Dump the dried asparagus and onion into a bowl. Add the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. Stir with a fork until everything is combined.
  4. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1/4 inch of oil. When the oil looks shimmery-hot, drop a pinch of the latke mixture in. If it instantly sizzles, you’re good to go.
  5. Use a cookie scoop or a couple spoons to scoop and drop latkes into the oil (I estimate about 1 1/2 tablespoons per latke). Use a fork to flatten each mound into a pancake. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottoms are deeply browned, then use two forks to carefully flip. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack or paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with more salt, if you’d like.
  6. Repeat with the remaining latke mixture until you’ve used all of it up.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rosalind Paaswell
    Rosalind Paaswell
  • Louise Dewhirst
    Louise Dewhirst
  • Lisa London
    Lisa London
  • BR95510
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

14 Reviews

Rosalind P. March 7, 2022
one more comment: The food processor grating disc works on asparagus, especially here where the hand grating produces different size pieces and textures. And yes, rye flour gives a really nice flavor, it may not be a pantry item for you. As noted in the video, regular all purpose works. But so does whole wheat -- same nutty flavor as rye and great nutrition.
Lisa L. March 7, 2022
I thought this should have been an April Fools recipe. I used the asparagus I had in the house which were of varying thicknesses so my knuckle and the pads of my fingers suffered. I was cursing Emma and her cruel joke, thinking anyone who attempts this recipe after I post my review is a masochist. But I decided to wait to review until after I'd cooked and tasted them. Dare I say that a torn up hand is worth it? Just ate a latke w/sour cream and homemade plum jam and fell in love. Thanks, Emma, but would you mind coming over and grating next time?
BR95510 May 27, 2021
Great use of the abundance of asparagus! After reading the reviews, I did reduce the onion. I also used the grater attachment on my food processor over hand grating. I mixed up 3 tablespoons of egg replacer with only 4 tablespoons of water, assuming that not all the liquid would get squeezed out of the asparagus/onion mixture. I placed the latkes on a parchment-lined baking sheet that was sprayed with a thin coating of olive oil. I sprayed the tops of the latkes and then baked them at 450 for 10 minutes, flipped, and sprayed again. I baked another 10 minutes, then listened to the rave reviews of my husband. I served with a side salad and topped with some slices of avocado. I will reduce the pepper next time. So if you want to make these almost fat free and vegan, there IS a way! :) Quite pleased with the end result!
Aep226 May 24, 2021
WOW. This might be my new favorite way to enjoy asparagus. I’m new to the Big Little Recipes world, and this recipe makes me so excited to explore more. Thanks Emma!
CHR@SF May 19, 2021
Made these last night and thought they were very tasty & a fun change from potato latkes. For us, though, the amount of onion somewhat overpowered the asparagus flavor. Next time will cut back to 4 - 6 oz. of onion, instead of 8. Also, grating asparagus by hand was somewhat challenging, as our asparagus was thinner than what EL used. Had to resort to chopping some of the veg. Will try by food processor next time.
Angela May 15, 2021
First time making latkes tonight and they were amazing! Great idea for asparagus. I should have made a double batch as the kids wouldn’t stop eating them! Served with sour cream.
Louise D. May 12, 2021
Wow!!! These were fantastic! I picked the first asparagus of the season at Greig Farm in Red Hook, NY over the weekend and made these tonight. A big hit with sour cream and a jar of charred pineapple relish from Harry and David that had been lurking in our pantry since long before COVID.
Rosalind P. May 11, 2021
These are beautiful. Latkes can be made from many vegetables: blanched shredded carrots; zucchini shredded and wrung to remove excess moisture; yellow squash; shredded broccoli; shredded cabbage; chopped drained cooked spinach; same idea. Add to eggs and flour or matzo meal. And whole wheat flour works beautifully.
Donna T. May 11, 2021
please tell me how you grate asparagus
Elizabethdx May 11, 2021
Donna, the video on this page shows how to grate asparagus. You can also find this video on YouTube. The next best thing to cooking this recipe immediately is watching Emma Laperruque make it.
Lisa L. March 7, 2022
Very Carefully. My thumb knuckle and the pads of the fingers on my right hand are grated as well.
Mary F. May 11, 2021
Is it possible to not fry but bake these wonderful looking Latkes?
Rosalind P. May 11, 2021
Of course
But don't expect that same crispy exterior. Spritz with oil to get some good browning
Denise May 11, 2021
Hmmm...perhaps the air fryer?!!!