Sunday, December 13, 2009

Potato Parsnip Latkes

Latkes are basically potato pancakes fried in olive oil. Latkes are traditionally served during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah as a reminder and celebration of the miracle of oil during the rededication of the holy Temple of Jerusalem in 165 B.C.E. after it had been seized by the Syrians several years prior. When the Maccabees reclaimed their Temple, they found only enough olive oil to light the menorah in the Temple for one day, but it miraculously lasted eight days.

If you celebrate, I wish you a very Happy Hanukkah!

My family doesn't celebrate Hanukkah, but we have attended a parties at our friends' houses over the years and latkes are definitely the culinary highlight of the festivities. Latkes are traditionally served with sour cream and or apple sauce, but you can eat them any way you like any time of the year!

I added parsnips to the traditional potato mixture because I had a few on hand. You can also use carrots or sweet potatoes in place of the parsnips, or just use all potatoes.

Potato Parsnip Latkes

3/4 lb. potatoes
1/2 lb. parsnips
1/2 medium yellow onion
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Shred potatoes, parsnips and onion on the large holes of a box grater or using your food processor.

Combine in a bowl with the flour, egg, salt and pepper, and mix well.

Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Divide the potato mixture into eight equal portions shaped into rough pancakes. Carefully lay latkes into hot oil, gently flattening the latke with a spatula. Cook 2-4 minutes until latkes start to brown. If the latkes are browning too fast, lower the heat a little so that the insides cook through before the outsides start to burn.

Carefully flip the latkes over and cook on other side for 2-4 minutes more or until browned.

Remove latkes to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat the cooking process for the last four latkes. Serve hot.

Enjoy! :)


  1. Hi Christine,
    Those look quite yummy :D! And thanks for adding the little bit of history.

  2. Now I'm so hungry and I really need to make some of these.

  3. OMG, I'm starving now. Those look so good, and there is something wonderfully holidayish about them. Yum. Oh, I'm so jealous you still get to run, looking at those pics down there. We have a buttload of snow, and it makes running hard on my knees to run on ice and snow. Oh, word to the wise on that. Be really careful.

  4. Hmm.. I love latkes, Christine. Thanks for the recipe. :)

  5. I'm laughing (just a little) because I don't think I've ever made such a small quantity of latkes. Usually, I'm peeling a 10 lb bag and making somewhere around 120-150 latkes.

    Then there are 2 different types of latke makers. There are the graters, and the blenders. I'm a blender (IOW, you would blend all those ingredients together for a smoother latke rather than a "hashbrowny"-looking latke). I think I do it this way simply because my mom taught me that way.

    Then there are those who want only applesauce or only sour cream or both. They are fiercely loyal to their style of eating latkes. We're double condiment eaters. Gotta have both on a latke.

    And I'm also laughing because latke time is the one time I don't worry about the amount of oil I use in my cooking. Hanukkah is all about the oil. I think I use about 10x the amount I saw in your picture. Which probably explains why my butt is so big, LOL!!

    I'm so glad that you're making latkes for your family! Sooooo yummy.

  6. These do look quite good! Thought they do remind me of hashbrowns, something we see a lot of here in the South. Thanks for the recipe, I may have to try to make these, Daughter would love them.

    Hope your day is going well.

  7. Delicious! I'll have to ask dh if he had these as a kid. Knowing his mom, I'm thinking no. LOL

    They look good and fairly easy to make. :)

  8. I'm planning to try my hand at making latkes this friday for a holiday party we are having. I wanted to have an item on the menu that is a. vegetarian and b. not Christmas-y. And since one of the friends who is attending is a Jewish vegetarian...these seem ideal. Besides, crispy fried potato thingies are ALWAYS a good idea. heh.


    Sorry, wanted you to know :) I'm so going to try and recipe over Xmas! Thank you Christine!

  10. Oh, I love these...thank you for the recipe! I'm off to make some right now!


  11. Looks absolutely yummy, Christine, and simple enough for someone like me (hopeless at cooking) to make. :)

  12. Looks very yummy :D However, I was wondering, what is parsnip?

  13. OMG CHRISTINE! Your famous! I was searching on Lisa Kleypas's site and your next to Lisa's in the contemporary section! HOW EXCITING is that?!

    Love the recipe btw :)

  14. Thanks for all of your lovely latke comments, everyone!!!

    I'm sorry it took me awhile to respond to all of you. My elderly father-in-law whom we take care of has been in the hospital since Monday evening with stroke-like symptoms, so I've obviously been pulled in other directions. My father-in-law seems to be stable, and improved a little bit today, I think, so they may even send him home tomorrow already. So that's what's been up with me in the last few days.

    On to talk of latkes! What's not to love about potatoes fried in oil, right? YUMMMmmm!

    Carolyn, thanks for words of caution about running in the snow in the winter. I will be very careful. :)

    Lori, you can laugh at my little recipe for 8 latkes all you want! ;) I thought of you when I posted this and was honestly wondering how long you must spend at the stove making these for a Hanukkah party. Until your hair and clothing smells like fried food, for sure! It's so worth it though. I am partial to applesauce, but certainly wouldn't refuse a dollop of sour cream!

    sula, latkes are a great choice for a mixed denomination, mixed vegetarian-carnivore holiday party! Have a wonderful party!

    Hi Hawk! Long time no see!! Thank you for visiting!

    nath, a parsnip is a root vegetable that looks like a carrot but is white. IMO, it has a bit of a peppery flavor to it. Maybe reminiscent of fennel? Sometimes called anise? Oh heck, I'll get you a wiki link. LOL

    I <3 Book Gossip, Awww... you recognized me! Yes.. that is me with Lisa Kleypas on her website.
    It went up in September, maybe.
    *faints again*
    I'm so thrilled! I mean... it's Lisa Kleypas, right?
    *faints one more time* ;)

  15. thanks for linking this in to Food on Friday. We now have 90 great potato/sweet potato links. Wow! Have a great week.


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