Hanukkah Feast, Part 1

Every year during Hanukkah, I make it my business to cook up some seriously delicious, crispy vegan potato latkes. I’ve always joked that in my family we’re “food Jews,” which is probably the best part, if you’ll pardon my heathen ways. This, of course, means I grew up knowing all about latkes, knishes, rugelach, hamantashen, cold borscht, bagels and cream cheese, and very little about the bible or synagogue. It also means I’ll jump on any chance to create a vegan version of a Jewish holiday feast.

I’ve been making vegan latkes for a few years now, and this is by far the best batch yet – ridiculously crispy and tasty. I’m not really sure what I did different or better, but I think it’s some combination of grating the potatoes by hand, wringing out enough of their liquid, using chickpea flour and cooking them in enough oil to get a real crisp on the outside. Just sayin’, Hanukkah is about oil, so it’s time to celebrate some relatively-healthy fats! Oh, who am I kidding. I celebrate healthy fat every day, and you should too! You could bake these, too, but you’ll still need to brush them with enough oil so they get good crispy, and not dry-crispy.

Traditional latke accompaniments are sour cream and/or applesauce. I snuck a totally raw applesauce onto the table this year, because that’s how I roll, along with some homemade, raw+fermented cashew cheese, which you’ll have to wait until another day to hear about. Oh, snizzap!

The Best Vegan Latkes

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, grated
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup chickpea flour
12 tsp baking powder
olive or sunflower oil to fry

Grate potatoes by hand or with your food processor’s grating blade. Purists say grating by hand is the only way, and after this year’s latke success, I may have to concur. With dish towel or piece of cheese cloth, wring excess moisture out of grated potato about 1 cup at a time. This is key to having crispy, well formed latkes. Mix remaining ingredients with potato in large bowl until evenly distributed.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Drop batter by two-tablespoonfuls into pan, careful not to crowd, and fry until browned and crispy on both sides. Can keep a pan of latkes warming in the oven at 200F until all pancakes are done cooking, and you’re ready to serve. Serve with applesauce, vegan sour cream, horseradish or spicy mustard. Or all of the condiments. Don’t forget to light the menorah.

Applesauce (raw)
2 gala apples, diced
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Combine in food processor with s-blade, or blender, until a smooth puree is achieved. I know. That’s barely a recipe. Raw food is the best!

Our feast also included non-Hanukkah-traditional-but-still-Jewish sweet potato and russet potato knishes, a la Vegan With a Vengeance. I’ll post about those guys tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Hanukkah Feast, Part 1

  1. I did shredded cabbage with grated carrot and pumpkin, chickpea flour and some vegie stock powder. Yum

  2. oh, yum! I was wondering about the possibilities of cabbage latkes! I definitely need to try a more experimental/veggie-filled batch now that I've got tradition covered! thanks for the inspiration.

  3. okay your latkes look better than my latkes! Chickpea flour that is the secret. I used spelt. I used coconut oil. I thought olive oil was verboten??

    What no vegan mazo ball soup??

    mom

  4. These look great! I can relate to being a "food jew." Can't wait to whip up some latkes at my house!

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