Root Vegetable Latkes

(Recipe from “The Gefilte Manifesto” by Yoskowitz and Alpern)


4 russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), peeled

1 medium parsnip, peeled

1 medium turnip, peeled

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1 small onion

4 scallions, finely chopped

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

⅓ c. bread crumbs or matzo meal

Schmaltz or peanut, canola, or grapeseed oil, for frying


Shred the potatoes, parsnip, turnip and onion on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor using the shredder plate. Place the grated vegetables in a large bowl and add cold water to cover. Let sit for about five minutes.

Drain the vegetables in a colander and squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the shreds into a bowl. It’s helpful to take cheesecloth or a clean, thin kitchen towel, drape in an empty bowl, then pour in the shredded vegetables. Wrap the cheesecloth or towel around the vegetables and squeeze tightly in the bowl. Repeat until as much liquid as possible has been removed. White potato starch will collect at the bottom of the bowl. Carefully drain off the water, leaving the potato starch. Set aside.

Place the drained vegetable shreds in a large bowl. Add the scallions, eggs, salt, pepper, flour, bread crumbs and the reserved potato starch. Mix well, preferable using your hands.

In a 9-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet, heat a layer of schmaltz or oil, about ⅛-inch deep, over medium heat. Form the latke batter into thin patties, using about 2 tablespoons for each. As you form the patties, squeeze out and discard any excess liquid. Carefully slip the patties, about four at a time, into the pan and fry for two to three  minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crisp. Take care to flip them only once to avoid excess oil absorption. If the pan begins to smoke at all, add more schmaltz or oil and let it heat up again before frying another batch of latkes.

Remove the latkes from the pan and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain the excess fat. Latkes are best and crispiest when served right away. If serving later, transfer to a separate casserole dish or baking sheet and place in the oven at 200 degrees to keep warm until serving. Serve hot, topped with Apple-Pear Sauce (the recipe is included in the book) and/or sour cream.

Makes 18-22 latkes.