Potato Dill Latkes with Harissa Yogurt Sauce
Every Jewish family has a latkes recipe that they love and that reminds them of their childhoods. The truth is, I’ve made my mother’s recipe for years but this year I wanted to try something different and I’m so glad that I did. First off, these are vegan. Typically, latkes calls for eggs to help bind them so that they don’t fall apart, but I wish that everyone would discover that this is a myth just like I recently found out. Second, I used dill which isn’t commonly used in this dish but it works very beautifully.
Shopping list for latkes (yields about 25 small latkes)
- 2 russet potatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1/4 cup dill
- 1 tsp dill weed
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Safflower oil (high temp frying oil)
- 2 tsp greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp Harissa hot sauce
- 1/4 fresh lemon juice
In a mixing bowl, hand grate 2 peeled russet potatoes – beware, requires serious elbow grease. You can use a food processor but sometimes I enjoy the pain. Pour enough cold water to cover the grated potatoes to avoid browning. In another small mixing bowl, grate a medium onion. Drain the potatoes in a colander. In the same bowl, lay two paper towels, a kitchen towel, or cheesecloth. Add the potato and onion and squeeze out all of the liquid. Save the water as we will be using the potato starch that will reside at the bottom of the bowl.
Combine the chopped dill, dill weed, salt, pepper, baking powder, flour, and a little of the potato starch to the potato and onion mixture. Mix together thoroughly.
Heat safflower oil or any high temp frying oil to a pan on medium heat. If you see that the oil is beginning to burn, lower the flame. Once hot, spoon in the mixture and turn over once crispy and golden brown (about 2 minutes). I use a tablespoon to make them smaller (less guilt when you eat 10 of them in one sitting) but you can use a larger spoon and flatten them out if you like them thin and crispy. Lay them on paper towels to remove excess grease.
For the sauce: whisk together the yogurt, harissa sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add additional harissa to get to your desired color and heat level. Add a dollop to each latkes and garnish with fresh dill. Et voila, another beautiful holiday recipe and appetizer that should be served year-round.