Recipe by Katie Mae
Happy Hanukkah Everyone! Here’s my plant-based, vegan version of potato pancakes, a Hanukkah favorite (also known as Latkes in Yiddish and Levivot in Hebrew). If you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy these so much that you end up making them for a weekend brunch all throughout the year.
Potato pancakes are most often shallow-fried pancakes of grated potato, flour and egg. However, potato pancakes are a festive tradition of many European and Middle Eastern cuisines and thus there are many recipe variations. For example, the Swiss do not use flour or egg in their version. Rather the Swiss Rösti are grated potato pancakes fried in butter. My recipe here is free of the ingredients that damage our arteries and is much lower in calories.
The story of Hanukkah is that the little oil that remained was only enough to provide light for one night, and yet miraculously this oil burned for 8 nights! The tradition of eating fried foods goes back to the use of cooking oil, which symbolizes this miracle of light. Dairy foods are also a tradition of Hanukkah, and thus sour cream is a common topping for the latkes. As a plant-lover, I prefer dairy-free toppings such as the traditional apple sauce or the non-traditional choices: salsa, guacamole and hummus.
Makes 20 pancakes
Ready in 25 minutes
Stores 5 days in fridge
- 2 russet potatoes
- 1 large zucchini
- ½ yellow onion
- ½ cup rolled oats, ground (oat flour)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. To keep the papers from rolling on you, crinkle them into a ball. Then open the papers up and lay them across the sheet pans.
2. Grate the potatoes, zucchini and onion. The quickest way to do this is with a food processor fitted with the medium grater attachment. Depending on the food processor size you may have to empty it in between grating to make room for more veggies. If you don’t have a food processor, a box grater works just fine.
3. After the potatoes, zucchini and onion are grated, place half of them in a clean kitchen towel. Roll the towel around the vegetables, and wring the towel to draw out the excess moisture. Transfer dried potatoes, zucchini and onion to a large mixing bowl. Repeat with remaining vegetables.
4. Add the ground oats and black pepper to the vegetable bowl and mix well. Rolled oats can be ground up using a coffee/spice grinder, food processor or blender. Feel free to use your hands to make sure the flour is evenly distributed.
5. Pick up about a ¼ cup of potato mixture and shape it into a semi-tight ball in your hands. Use the palms of your hands to flatten the ball into a potato pancake and place it on prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining mix, spacing the pancakes about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes depending how crispy you want them. Flip the latkes and bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes. Serve at once with applesauce or other plant-based toppings, like salsa, guacamole and hummus.
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