Growing up, we celebrated both Christian and Jewish holidays. Each holiday had its own associated food that I looked forward to. At Easter, it was babka. Christmas was cinnamon twists and thumbprint cookies. Rosh Hashanah was apples with honey and challah bread. And, Hanukkah was chocolate gelt and latkes (Jewish potato pancakes).
The annual latkes were make from my grandmother’s recipe and reserved for one time per year. No matter how much begging my sisters and I did, we only had latkes at Hanukkah. However, potato pancakes were a different story. I have no clue what the real difference between potato pancakes and latkes is, aside from the use of my grandmother’s recipe. Whenever we were out, though, and potato pancakes were on the menu, we could order them, Hanukkah or not.
I’ve kind of stuck with this tradition of not making authentic latkes at any time of year except Hanukkah. I don’t even celebrate Hanukkah anymore, but I look forward to the time of year so that I can make the golden potato fritters. The rest of the year, though, I prepare all sorts of twists on the classic so that I can enjoy the dish year round without ruining tradition.
This recipe becomes easy for the middle of the week if you have a food processor with a grater blade. If not, save the recipe for a weekend meal as you’ll be grating veggies for a little while.
Rainbow Veggie Cakes
• 1 medium zucchini (Heritage Farm CSA)
• 1 ear corn (Bechdolt’s Orchard)
• 3-5 carrots (depending on size) (Blue Blaze Farm)
• 1 onion (Heritage Farm CSA)
• 2 purple potatoes (White works, too, but not as colorful! Apple Ridge Farm)
• 1-2 gloves garlic (Heritage Farm CSA)
• 1 egg (Valley View Farm)
• 1/2 c. coarse yellow cornmeal
• 1/2 c. flour
• salt & pepper, to taste
• olive oil, for brushing
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Coarsely grate zucchini, carrots, onion, garlic and potato, using a food processor if you have one.
- Place shredded veggies in strainer over bowl or in sink and sprinkle generously with salt. Mix salt through with your fingers and let sit with a heavy bowl on top for 5-10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix cornmeal, flour, salt & pepper in large bowl.
- Cut kernels off corn (click here to see how!) and add to flour mixture.
- Add egg to flour and corn mixture, mix well.
- Squeeze extra liquid out of shredded veggies (the heavy bowl should have helped with this already) and add to batter.
- Brush cookie sheet with olive oil. Scoop 1/4 cup mounds of mixture onto cookie sheet and flatten. Brush the top of each pattie with olive oil.
- Bake 15 minutes. Flip. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
- Salt to taste and enjoy hot!