Potato & Zucchini Latkes
Potato & Zucchini Latkes
Savory pancakes?! Yes please. These latkes are a definite upgrade to traditional hash browns, and are my current favorite way to enjoy potatoes. Adding summer squash was just a twist on this traditional recipe, so if there’s something you want to try out instead, I highly recommend it! It’s incredibly delicious, super quick to whip up, and really filling too. Essentially, it’s all the things!
Since I took a moment to describe growing zucchini/summer squash in last week’s Socca Tart recipe, this week is all about potatoes. This crop is a staple in our market garden! It is absolutely one of my personal favorites all around, I love planting, harvesting and eating them... which I definitely can’t boast of all of the crops we grow. Since we don’t own a traditional tractor (only a walk behind BCS tractor) we have modified the way we grow potatoes. Most growers plant in a single row and use a tractor to hill up around the potatoes as they grow to control weeds and keep the potatoes well covered from sunlight. Not us! To make the most of our field, we plant in two rows about twelve inches apart both between the rows and the plants (after cutting the seed potatoes into smaller chunks to make the most of those too!). Then, I do one round of “hilling” which essentially means walking around with a hoe and making sure the soil is piled high around the seed potatoes. Soon after the first shoots of the potatoes appear (about a couple of week later) we cover the entire area with mulch, trying to leave a little space for the potatoes to push through in the process. Mulching our potatoes is beneficial for two reasons. First, it allows us to not have to hill the dang things over and over as weeds inevitably appear. Second, it seems to have the magical effect of keeping *most* potato beetles at bay. Sure, we walk through and physically remove them from time to time if we need to... but the mulch really does seem to help the situation remarkably. We plant several varieties of potatoes, some that are specifically grown to be pulled early as “new potatoes,” some mid season and some late season varieties. If you want to know specifics, just ask! At any rate, to harvest we either simply pull them out of the ground, or use our small digging fork to loosen the soil first if needed. Just be sure to dig well away from the plant or you will end up stabbing a potato, which is always sad.
Now that you know all about our method of growing potatoes, it’s time to read up on how you can enjoy them in a latke, right? Well, the original recipe inspiration for this is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman, which can be found on page 31 of the book. I have definitely modified this one a fair bit from hers, but always want to be very up front about the source of recipes listed in The Vegetablog.
This recipe yields about 8 five inch latkes, so perhaps cut it in half if that sounds like too much for you!
2 large potatoes (or the equivalent in small potatoes, whatever works!)
1 zucchini/summer squash
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Vegetable or olive oil for frying
4 “eggs” or egg substitute. I used Ener-G egg replacer and loved the results!
In a food processor or with a box grater, coarsely shred the potato, zucchini, onion and peeled garlic. Transfer the shredded mixture to a square of cheesecloth (or into a colander if you don’t have any cheesecloth lying about) and squeeze out as much of the water as possible. Let it stand for two minutes and then squeeze it out again.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and egg replacer. Stir in the potato, zucchini and onion mixture until all the pieces are evenly coated.
In a small heavy skillet (she recommends cast iron, if you have one) heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil until it shimmers. Drop one quarter of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten with the back of a spoon into a five inch round. Cook the latke over moderate heat until the edges are golden, about four to five minutes, flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about three to four minutes more.
Serve topped with plant based sour cream, chives, applesauce, avocado, or whatever suits your fancy!