Latkes: who doesn’t love them? The nice Jewish cousin of the all-American diner hash brown, these potato pancakes are fried up in your choice of fat, and served alongside a hefty portion of hungry relatives in town to celebrate the Miracle of Lights.
But let’s be honest. If you’ve ever had latkes, you certainly don’t wait around for Hanukkah each year until you can eat them. When done right, these Jewish treats are some of the best food my tribe has to offer (excluding bagels and lox, of course). My own grandmother used to fry up truly magical latkes that were crispy as potato chips outside, and silky-smooth inside.
The only problem with latkes is that their main ingredient is white potatoes, which are severely lacking in the nutrient department. In the Grain-Free Love kitchen, we like to use wholesome vegetables and produce that boost energy, leave our tummies feeling light, and pack a huge punch of flavor. What’s a latke-loving girl to do?
The answer: sweet potatoes.
We’ve been cooking up mashed sweet potato (recipe coming soon!) and sweet potato home fries for years, but about six months ago we finally decided to perfect the paleo sweet potato latke. Reminiscent of my grandmother’s latkes, these sweet potato alternatives—chock-full of onion—fry to a beautiful, crunchy golden-brown over a thick slab of butter.
But my favorite part of this recipe has to be the scallions, an addition Marc made on a whim several weeks ago. They add a snap of earthy spice to the onion-sweet potato mixture, and the scallion flavor permeates the dish as the latkes fry slowly over medium heat. Your apartment (or house, if you’re one of those people who actually has storage—can we use some?) will smell like my kind of heaven as soon as you toss these on the stove.
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and shredded (We use a Cuisinart to shred the sweet potato, but you can also use a handheld cheese grater.)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large scallion, green parts only, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbs. tapioca flour
- 1 Tbs. butter
- Black pepper
- Place shredded sweet potato in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Fill bowl with hot water, just until sweet potato is covered. Add a generous pinch of salt and let the sweet potato soak until step 3.
- While sweet potato soaks in salt water, place chopped onion in a mesh colander. Holding the colander over the sink, use a spatula to press the moisture out of the onion. Do this for about 30 seconds, or until moisture is gone. Remove onions from the colander and set aside.
- Next, place the shredded sweet potato into the mesh colander, and use the spatula to press out the moisture from the sweet potato. It's important to get the sweet potato as dry as possible during this step, so that your latkes are easier to shape later on.
- Now that the sweet potato and onion are dry, combine them in a large mixing bowl with the chopped scallion greens, egg, tapioca flour, ½ tsp. of salt, and ½ tsp. of black pepper. Mix well.
- Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan.
- Once butter is almost melted, it's time to start cooking your sweet potato latkes. For each latke, grab a handful of latke mixture and roll it into a ball. Add the ball directly to the hot buttered pan and press it flat with a spatula. Repeat until latke mixture is gone.
- NOTE: Make sure that you frequently stir your latke mixture, so that the egg and moisture don't sink to the bottom of the mixture.
- Once latkes are all cooking on the pan, turn heat down to medium or medium-low, depending on your burner. (You don't want the heat to be so high that the latkes burn as they cook, or the butter starts to smoke.) Cook for 20-25 minutes, about 10-15 minutes per side, or until golden-brown and crisp at the edges. Don't fiddle with the latkes while they cook, and be sure to flip them carefully and swiftly to prevent breakage.
- Serve latkes alone with applesauce or Greek yogurt for dipping, or use them as a delicious side dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
How’d you like this paleo sweet potato latke recipe? Let us know!