Whether or not you celebrate Hanukkah, you have to love a perfect latke—tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and never, ever greasy. For purists, the only kind of latke that should even be discussed is the classic, made with potato and onion. We've got a recipe for those folks, but if you're willing to break with tradition, we've got variations made with zucchini, beets, and sweet potatoes, plus a gluten-free version bound with rice flour instead of matzo meal.
How to Make Crispy, Tender Potato Latkes
If you're going to have only one kind of latke on your Hanukkah table, you should go with the classic. This simple recipe uses russet potatoes, onion, eggs, and matzo meal to make latkes that are plump in the center and crispy on the edges, like a cross between a potato pancake and a hash brown. Using two binders is key—the egg adds fat, and the matzo meal keeps the moisture in check.
Beet Latkes With Walnuts and Horseradish Sour Cream
These vibrantly colored latkes are inspired by the Greek dip skordalia. We combine grated potatoes and beets with chopped walnuts and garlic, then add eggs and matzo meal to bind it all up. If you're not concerned with keeping parve, serve them with a zesty horseradish-spiked sour cream.
Zucchini Latkes With Parmesan, Pine Nuts, and Basil
Even when done right, latkes can be pretty heavy. This variation lightens them up by mixing the potatoes with zucchini. Lemon zest and chopped basil complement the squash's delicate flavor. We also add pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, giving the latkes a pesto-like edge.
Spiced Sweet Potato, Carrot, and Acorn Squash Latkes
Sweet potato latkes are frequently too sweet and one-dimensional. Our version gets some savory depth and textural contrast from carrot and acorn squash. Spicy fresh ginger adds further complexity, and smoky cumin and floral coriander round everything out.
Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Latkes
Latkes are traditionally bound with matzo meal, which works well but makes them off-limits for people who are gluten-intolerant. These simple sweet potato and onion latkes are bound with white rice flour, which makes them totally gluten-free.