Root Vegetable Latkes

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Traditionally, latkes are made using potatoes and parsnips. While I have often made latkes with those ingredients, today I decided to do something different! I had some root vegetables from the farmer’s market that I was looking to use, as well as some home grown zucchini that would work well in latkes as well as fritters. These latke style fritters ended up tasting fantastic as a new flavor twist on one of my favorite staple meals. If you’d like to stick to the classic latke formula, substitute russet potatoes for the celery root and turnip and parsnip for the zucchini. Either way, you’re in for a tasty treat!

Serves 2 as a main course. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peeled and shredded celery root
  • 1 1/2 cup peeled and shredded turnip 
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 tbsp salt plus more to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, about 1 tsp, to taste 
  • 1 white or yellow onion, about 1 cup, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch 
  • cold water
  • olive oil for frying
  • applesauce, sour cream, diced tomatoes, spicy mustard, or sauerkraut to top

Instructions

Using a box grater, shred celery root and turnip. Combine in a large bowl with 1 tbsp salt and cover with cold water, leave to soak for about 20 minutes. If you are using potatoes and parsnips, treat them the same as the celery root and turnip. Meanwhile, grate the zucchini and combine in a separate bowl with an additional 1 tbsp salt. Leave to soak until you check the roots. Don’t be tempted to food process the roots– this creates small chunks rather than shreds, and your latkes won’t be well formed. 

Drain all of the shredded vegetables in a colander. Using paper towels, try to push as much moisture out of the mixture as you can. You won’t get all of it, but give it a few paper towels worth to soak up some of the extra water. Push the paper towels down on top of the mixture to soak water up. 

Combine about 1 tsp (or more to taste) salt, the pepper, cornstarch, eggs, and parsley with the vegetables and mix together evenly. 

Heat about 3 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Form latkes as balls in your hand of about 1/4 cup, pressing the balls into flat patties. Place in the skillet and fry until golden brown on both sides, flipping once. You can fry these in batches of about three or four latkes at a time, for about 5 minutes per batch. 

Remove and pat dry with paper towels to remove a little excess oil. Serve hot with whatever garnishes you like–applesauce is always a winner!

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