Carrot-Harissa Latkes with Preserved Lemon Yogourt
When Hanukkah rolls around every year, we always look forward to a classic potato latke smothered in apple sauce and sour cream – or both! But, as with most things we do, we also like to fill our holiday table with non-traditional latkes.
In fact, these latkes were inspired by the latkes Gillian’s husband, Dan, grew up eating. He has memories of his mother making both potato and carrot latkes, with the carrot ones always his favourite. Because of his distinct childhood culinary memory, Gillian has spent a few Hanukkahs over the years trying her best to perfect the elusive perfect carrot latke, finally getting the recipe perfected in 2020.
It seems only natural to make latkes with carrots, as during the winter season, root veggies are front and center in our kitchens. For these carrot latkes we were inspired by the flavours of North Africa: think cumin, harissa, and preserved lemons. Try these out and create a new Hanukkah tradition!
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 small yellow onion, peeled and halved
1 garlic clove, minced or grated on a microplane
1 Tbsp harissa (more if you like things spicy!)
½ tsp cumin
¼ cup potato starch (you can also use all-purpose flour but potato starch will make the latkes crispier)
½ tsp baking powder
1 ¼ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
Preserved Lemon Yogurt
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 small preserved lemons, finely chopped
1 ½ tsp preserved lemon brine
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Mix preserved lemons, preserved lemon brine, and black pepper into the yogurt. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Using a food processor fitted with the large-sized shredding disk, shred carrots and onion. Working in batches, wrap the grated vegetables in a dish towel (or cheesecloth) and squeeze as much liquid out as you can.
Place the shredded, squeezed vegetables in a large bowl. Add the garlic, potato starch, baking powder, egg, harissa, salt, and pepper and mix with your hands (or a wooden spoon) until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with two layers of paper towels and set aside.
In a large pan over medium heat, warm ⅛ inch of vegetable oil until shimmering but not smoking.
Using a ¼ cup as a measure, scoop up the carrot mixture, pack tightly, and carefully drop it into the pan in batches of 4. Using a spatula, gently press each mound into a flat disk about ½ inch thick. Fry, turning once, until crisp on both sides and cooked through, 5-6 minutes total. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the latkes to the paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain. Skim and discard any bits of latke remaining in the pan using the slotted spoon.
Continue with the remaining batter, adding additional oil to the pan if necessary and adjusting the heat if the latkes are browning too quickly or not quickly enough.
Serve latkes hot, topped with the preserved lemon yogurt. Alternatively, let the latkes cool and store them in the refrigerator or freezer. When ready to serve, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and reheat for 8-10 minutes in a 400 degrees F oven.