Lovely Latkes.

DSC_1869I. Love. Latkes. With apple sauce and my creamy element of choice, of course. This may stem from the fact that I adore Hanukkah. It is Jewish holiday focused on friends, family, parties – and completely amazing foods, of course. The Books of Maccabees says a supply of oil to light the Temple was to last one day. Instead, it lasted eight full nights. So, this festival is centered on the beauty and gift of oil.

Needless to say, the fare is quite crispy and toothsome – and oh, so, comforting. Thanksgiving is my preferred sectarian holiday; it unites us all, despite religion, race, class… all that meshugana that divides instead of uniting. It is ideal that these two celebratory, inclusive holidays have united. Happy “Thanksgivukkah”!

Well, at Casa Curls and Carrots Ima (me) is always worrying about Abba’s (hubby’s) health. Here, Hanukah recipes are satisfying, decadent and oh-so-salubrious. He works long hours: nutrition and exercise fall on the wayside. Our latkes are flash-fried in cooking spray and garnished with flavor-forward, nutritious toppings that do not disappoint – such as creamy Greek yogurt!

Abba’s priority – outside of working 80+ hours a week – and traveling – is us. What did I do to deserve such a loving, kind surgeon-hubby? His eyes may be closing, but he desires to be with his family. At night he rallies… and then eats a latke –  or seven. Oh, gosh, we love these salubrious, crisp, flavorful potato pancakes. Root vegetables are hearty and earthy. Homemade applesauce is bright, fresh – and perfectly sweet. Greek yogurt is pure velvet.

The accompaniments are ideal, soft juxtaposition to the crisp latke. Which will you choose: Applesauce or “Sour Cream” (or in this case, thick, rich yogurt!)

DSC_1867On that note: I have one sibling. He is larger than life – 6″6′ – and sweeter than honey. I smile to know that he is part of my life. The “sib” has been sick and gave me a rang from his hospital – simply to impart these words: “Shanna, do not make the latkes too healthy. It is the holiday, after all!” Point taken, wise lil’ bro.

DSC_1881First, the crowing fruit glory…


…Homemade applesauce. It is worth making on your own and so amazingly tasty!

Orange juice lends a crisp, bright flavor and prevents the apples from browning.


Sweet, floral honey elevates the apples from ordinary to extraordinary.

This recipe only takes three minutes! Go for it!


Oh, my: you will never buy apple sauce again.

Once you make homemade applesauce for latkes – or for your kids’ snacks – there is no returning to the acidic, lackluster bottled variety. Trust me.

DSC_1869The quick recipe, below, will last for a couple of weeks in your refrigerator.

DSC_1895The Snu Magoo loved one latkah…


… and even a second. It’s nice to have a loving, cooking Ima. Let’s make latkes!

DSC_1865First, strain the shredded onion, sweet potato and parsnip.


Add the salt, toss, and allow the liquid to drain.


After an hour, press out any remaining water.

DSC_1866Flavors of rosemary and garlic will be a lovely complement to the Autumnal root vegetables.


Whisk in the remaining ingredients into the vegetable mixture, including the garlic and herb, and form patties.


DSC_1875Using cooking spray, lightly brown the latkes on each side.DSC_1880

Use cookie sheets lined with oiled parchment paper to finish off the latkets in a hot oven. Can you smell the gorgeous aromas of onions, yams, garlic and herbs?

It. Is. Intoxicating.


Ima ate a couple latkahs during the grilling process.

She sports a burnt tongue – but happy stomach.DSC_1884

These are easy, nutritious, delicious  – and fun to make.

DSC_1885  Remember to top the latkes with Greek yogurt and homemade applesauce!

The warm flavors of floral honey and fresh orange marry beautifully with the sweet yams and bright rosemary in the latkes.


Chag Sameach. Have a lovely festival, friends!





Lightened-Up Latkes (Gluten-Free)

These delectable potato pancakes highlight the season’s bounty of scrumptious root vegetables.


  • 2 large sweet potatoes

  • 1 large parsnip

  • 1/2 small red onion

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice

  • ¼ cup whole grain bread crumbs*; choose a gluten-free variety, if desired

  • ¼ tsp fine salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

  • ¾ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • canola oil cooking spray

  • additional salt and pepper, to taste

Optional Toppings:

  • Homemade apple sauce (See recipe, below

  • 2% Greek yogurt

Special equipment:

  • Box grater

  • Colander

  • Standard ice cream scoop

  • Large Pan

  • (2) Wire racks

  • (2) Cookie sheets


  • Using a food processor fitted with a grating attachment, or a box grater, shred the sweet potatoes, parsnip and onion.

  • In a large fine mesh strainer or wire colander, toss the vegetable mixture in ¼ tsp fine salt. Allow the vegetables to sit for one hour to release excess moisture. Then, place the vegetables in a kitchen towel. Wring the towel to release any additional moisture.

  • In a large bowl, mix in the bread crumbs, baking powder, kosher salt and pepper until integrated.

  • Then, whisk the eggs, lemon juice, garlic and rosemary into the bread crumb mixture until combined. The citrus will retain vegetables’ vibrant color.

  • Add the strained vegetable mixture to the egg-breadcrumb mixture in the large bowl. Stir well.

  • Heat a large skillet (or griddle) over medium heat. When heated, spray liberally with cooking spray.

  • Scoop out latke patties using a standard ice cream scoop. Place the scoop in the pan and and press lightly on the top to form a flat disk.

  • Working in batches, brown all of the the latkes on each side. This should take a three to six minutes on each side, depending on your stove-top and pan.

  • Preheat your oven to 400•F or 204•C. Place all the latkes on cookie sheets fitted with wire racks.

  • Bake for 10-15 minutes, until soft in the middle, crisp on the outside and piping hot. Keep your eyes on the latkes to prevent overcooking.

  • Sprinkle latkes lightly with additional salt and pepper.

  • Serve with homemade applesauce (below) and Greek yogurt. Enjoy!

* Tip: Blitz a slice of sandwich bread in the food processor fitted with with a metal blade, and you have homemade bread crumbs in seconds.

Easy Homemade Applesauce

A fresh and bright dish: You will never purchase the store-bought variety again!


  • 1 large, organic gala apple, including skin, cored and diced

  • 1 large, organic  braeburn apple, including skin, cored and diced

  • 1 Tbsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice

  • 1 Tbsp. local, floral honey

  • dash of fine salt, about 1/16 tsp.


  • Place all of the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

  • Process until very smooth.

  • Use a spatula to scrape down sides and pulse a few times.

  • Serve with “Lightened-Up Latkes,” above or as a tasty after-school snack.


©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, (2013), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.



44 thoughts on “Lovely Latkes.

    1. Hi, Genie,
      What a great idea to serve these as a dipping food at a party. I do love it! You are right, a little “dip, dip,” as my daughter says, and food goes from ordinary to fancy in a flash. Thank you for stopping by! I am enjoying your blog!
      Best wishes,

  1. will it make you sad to know I’ve never had a latke! 0-: Though yours look amazing. And I’m loving your applesauce recipe. Orange juice and honey? This is pure brilliance Shanna!!!!!

    1. Hi, Liz,
      Never made a latke? No worries – I am sure many haven’t. You make PLENTY of other delicious dishes, as we know! Well, me must remedy this.You could try this recipe or – or first start with a traditional pan-fried potato latke… they are they gateway latke! Before you know it, you are using all types of root vegetables and baking them (Gasp!). Thank you for your sweet comments and visit. OH, I do hope you try the applesauce- it is quite easy and scrumptious. Have a lovely day!
      Warmly, Shanna

  2. I can smell the gorgeous aromas of onions, yams, garlic and herbs, mmm smells delicious. And the fresh apple sauce sounds really delicious. I would love to serve this for a lazy breakfast on a Saturday morning…with some sausages on the side and fresh juice. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi, Liz,
      Your words are kind, sweet – and descriptive. What diction. Now you are making ME hungry. Especially for brunch. What a great idea to eat these with a leisurely, decadent breakfast. Brilliant! I hope that you have a great day. Thank you for your visit – I love hearing from you.
      Best wishes,

      1. Can you imagine I called you Shannon again….I laughed so hard, I almost fell down. I love sweet potatoes so this recipe is a must try for me. I made a sweet potato cake the other day…I shall be posting it…God knows when. I’m totally backlogged. Best wishes!

  3. I love your recipes Shanna – decadent but healthy! Those latkes would be amazing in mini form for party season canapés, topped with something lemony and creamy and smoked salmon…

    1. Selma, What a great idea. I have had similar and it is delicious. A topping of creme fraise infused with lemon or lemon peel, lox and sprinkling of freshly snipped chives would be nice. Thank you for your your warm comment. Warmly, Shanna

    1. Hi, Martine,
      You can top small latke patties with creme fresh, any citrus, a fresh herb – and even a bit of lox or (gasp) caviar – and serve them as an appetizer. The strands of the various vegetables are quite long; I am not sure if they would make balls. Thank you for stopping by and leaving warm words! Enjoy your day! Best wishes, Shanna

    1. Hi, Ada,
      I hope that you give them a whirl. They are so festive and fun – perfect for any Fall or Winter holiday. I am glad to hear that you also enjoy bright colors. We eat with our eyes, don’t we? 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such encouraging words. I appreciate you and your warm comments!
      Best wishes,

  4. i never had latkes, but I can imagine how delectable they are. I think, once I make it, it is going to be on my regular menu. I also love the apple sauce. I’m all in agreement with Sun-Magoo. Every day is Happy “Thanksgivukkah”! 😛

    1. Hi, Fae,
      I do think that you would very much enjoy latkes! 🙂 These are not traditional (standard latkes are a comprised of a starchy variety of potato, egg, flour, a touch of lemon, onion – and then deep fried in a lighter colored oil. However, I am a big fan of root vegetables – and different colors – so our latkes are different. I have even made beet latkes! 🙂 Thank you for your warm and kind words – and taking time to visit. Have a very happy Thanksgivukkah! 😉

  5. Wow that looks good. Round here we always have a glut of apples – people leave them out the front for others to take away. So autumnal to make your own sauce. And it’s even more attractive to know how healthy they are – that is the thing that often puts me off latkes.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hi, Denise,
      Oh, yes – the barrel of apples conundrum. One of the fortunes of Fall! A couple Jewish apple cakes and recipe or two for applesauce can remedy your Autumnal surplus in an instant!
      I agree with you – food should taste good – and nourish your body and soul. Salubrious food gets a bad wrap. It sounds like you know how to make seasonal, healthful fare scrumptious.
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a warm and generous comment, Denise.

  6. Mmmm, latkes! I have my potatoes ready, and I’m always keen to try new and different recipes, with various things like quinoa, spinach, zucchini and cheese. Yours looks lovely too, and I’ll be sure to try it. .

    1. Hi, Melissa!
      I love, love, love to freeze latkes. Then, you can heat them in the oven (at around 350•F) all year long – just until warmed through and crisp. When you freeze the latkes, put them in a large tupperware, separated by layers of parchment paper, so that they do not stick together. As for applesauce – yes, freeze away. Take care not to fill your jar too high; liquids expand during the freezing process, and you don’t want an apple explosion. Thank you for visiting – and for leaving a sweet note.

  7. Your blog looks. . .well, yummy. 🙂 I am getting excited for latkes now! I will be making my usual potato (and some sweet potato) latkes for the crowd I’ll be having here, but I might try your method some time in the future.
    To Melissa above, I don’t see why you can’t freeze them and then reheat in a hot oven. I know you can freeze applesauce because I have several containers of it in my freezer now so I will have it for both my Thanksgiving dinner and my Hanukkah dinner the next night.

    1. Hi, Merril,

      Thank you for visiting us at Casa Curls and Carrots – and taking time to leave such generous words! I am glad to hear that the blog is whetting your appetite. What a compliment.

      Your latkes sounds scrumptious. The flavors and colors must be lovely. I will keep my eyes peeled for recipe! I popped over to your blog and am excited for what’s to come.



  8. These sound really good, Shanna, and, like you say, having them so closely associated with a favorite holiday makes them taste all the better. Great idea using parsnips in them. It’s a great vegetable and too few people know about it. You’re right, too, about homemade apple sauce. There really is no comparison with store-bought. I make large batches and freeze what I don’t use immediately. Nice to have a reserve like that. This was a very nice post, Shanna. Well written and photographed.

    1. Hi, John,
      Thank you for all of your warm, kind comments and feedback. I love that you stopped by to visit CC. You are very encouraging – and clearly a homemade applesauce (and parsnip – are they great roasted?) kindred spirit. 🙂 I hope that you have a wonderful, peaceful Thanksgiving – and Zia in Michigan, too!
      Best wishes,

  9. Love the latkes! LOVE. THE. LATKES! Gluten-free, too, thank you.

    Ha! You used the word “meshugana”. All is right in the world. I used schmutz with my students. They are learning to cook and a little Yiddish too.

    Happy Turkey-filled Hanukkah!

    1. Hi, Chef Janet,
      Thank you for your enthusiastic and kind note! You have made my day. 🙂
      I am quite intrigued by your Yiddish culinary instruction. And the schmutz… did you have a bit of food on your chef coat?
      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, as well!

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