Swap In The Zucchini
By Shauna Lindzon
Now that we are in the colder months and the holidays are fast approaching, let’s talk about comfort food! There are so many comfort foods to choose from, but for me and my family, potatoes top the list. Once you throw oil into the equation, I start to think about French fries, hash browns, and my own personal favourite, latkes. Latkes are a potato pancake that are made up of grated potatoes, onions, a binder, and seasoning. I like to make mine with zucchini. This adds a boost of nutrients and if you treat it properly it will add to the crunch. This means that you have to remove the water from the zucchini. Here is how you make the perfect lacy crispy latkes.
Makes: 20-30 (depending on the size)
4-6 small zucchini (about 2 lbs.)
1 Tbsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning at the end
2 Russet potatoes (about 1-1/2 lbs.), peeled
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut in half
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs or matzo meal
Oil for frying (I use avocado oil)
Serving suggestions: Applesauce, sour cream, smoked salmon, capers, and fresh dill
Prepare a large baking sheet with 3 layers of paper towel. This will be used to put the cooked latkes on. Set aside.
Using a food processor with the coarse grating attachment or a hand grater, grate the zucchini. Place it in a strainer over a large bowl to catch the liquid as it drains out. Toss with 1 Tbsp kosher salt and allow to drain for 30 minutes.
Place the drained zucchini into paper towels or a tea towel and squeeze out as much water as you can. Add it to a clean large bowl.
Grate the potatoes and onions next. Using paper towels or a tea towel, squeeze as much water out as you can and add them to the bowl with the zucchini.
Add the eggs, pepper, and panko (or matzo meal) to the bowl. Combine the mixture using your hands.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with about half an inch of oil. Using a 1/4 cup dry measuring cup, scoop the mixture and carefully add it to the hot oil to form a latke. Fry until the edges are brown and crispy and carefully flip (about 3 minutes per side). Press the mixture down to ensure that the middle gets cooked through. Continue to cook until golden brown.
Transfer the cooked latkes to the prepared baking sheet. Season with a dash of kosher salt if desired.
Serve while warm with desired toppings.
If you freeze cooked latkes, reheat in 425⁰F oven for 10 minutes or until heated through.
For a baked version: Preheat oven to 425⁰F (if you have convection, use it). Generously grease a large baking sheet with oil. Form 6-9 latkes on the sheet (a few inches apart) and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until you can see the edges turning golden brown. Flip them and bake the other side for 12-14 minutes or until golden.