As far as I'm concerned, the best part of Chanukkah was always the latkes, or potato pancakes. Crispy, hot, and savory they're perfectly balanced with the tart/sweet/cool combo of sour cream and applesauce. Nom nom nom, bring on the Festival of Lights, y'all!
My only issue with the meal was all of the labor involved. Peeling tons of potatoes and then grating them (while trying not to include any pieces of flesh) was such a drag. So, this year, I went ahead and made a quicker—and, not for nothing, healthier—version. I didn't bother peeling my potato; why would I, when there's so much nutrition in that skin? And by including zucchini you definitely don't need to do any peeling; throw 'em in the food processor and it'll take just a minute to do all your grating. I also love the look of the green from the squash and the scallions. Bonus: you'll cut calories by "crowding out" most of the potato with zucchini.
|I don't often use my food processor, but it's worth it for this shredded-veggie dish.|
Many potato pancake recipes call for copious amounts of flour; I found that I could use less flour (and whole wheat, at that) plus some flaxseed meal to bind these pancakes effectively. They are a bit more delicate, but I actually prefer them that way.
Ingredientsyield: about a dozen pancakes
- 2T flax meal
- 2T water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 small zucchini, coarsely grated (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 large russet potato, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
- 1 small onion, grated
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 4T whole wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- extra virgin olive or coconut oil for frying
- Sour cream and Applesauce (optional but highly recommended)
In a large bowl add beaten egg, flax meal, and water. Mix until well combined; let sit for a few minutes. In a colander, drain zucchini and potato, squeezing to remove excess liquid.
Add zucchini, potato and onion to egg/flax mixture. Stir in the flour, salt and scallions; mix well.
Coat the bottom of a skillet with oil—this version is not fried in a deep vat of oil—and put over medium to medium-low heat; I find I have to turn down the heat for the later batches so they don't burn. (You don't want to cook on very high heat, or the outside will cook too quickly and the inside won't cook quickly enough). Add about 1/4c of batter for each pancake, pressing lightly to flatten. Cook until golden, about 4 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining batter.
You can certainly enjoy these with just some sour cream or creme fraiche and chopped scallions. Or try crumbled goat cheese on top. Have them as a meal or a side dish. I love my latkes with sour cream and applesauce. But—just as you can enjoy these any day of the year, not just on Chanukkah—you can serve them however you want!
- L'chaim! For those of you who don't know, this is a common Jewish toast and it literally means "to life!" Sure, life can be painful; toasting "to life" means it's worth bearing the trying times so that we can also experience the happy times. As we head into a new year, we wish you more happy times than sad; together we will drink (and eat) to life!
- Happy Chanukkah from the Full Belly Sisters!