07 Dec Turnip and Tater Latkes
Every year I try to have a new take on latkes at the Chanukah table, and since I’m usually home in North Carolina when creating these recipes, inevitably they have a southern spin. Sometimes they’re just a twist on the traditional (check out my latkes with southern style milk gravy recipe), sometimes they’re horrible and weird, and sometimes they just wind up just perfect and become an instant favorite tradition for the coming years like this recipe. These turnip and tater latkes are mostly turnip and turnip greens (lending a lot of nutritional goodness not often found in the traditional potato guys and an earthy vegetal flavor not often found in the super sweet carrot or sweet potato versions) with a little potato to mellow that mighty turnip punch. You can leave out (or use the low end measurement) of the red pepper flakes if you’re not into spice, but I love the kick and balance they lend these little fried patties. Make sure your heat isn’t too high or they’ll burn on the outside before cooking through (it should take about 2 minutes each side for the perfect fry), try not to pack them too tight (looking for those crispy lacy edges), get as much moisture as possible out in the beginning and right before frying (liquid is the enemy of crispy latkes), and be sure to serve them straight after frying for the best texture (soggy oily latkes aren’t good for anyone). Happy Hanukkah y’all!
- Greens from 1 bunch of turnips, stems removed and chiffonaded (yields about 2 cups packed)
- 6 medium turnips, peeled and shredded
- 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
- 2 white onions, peeled and shredded
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 teaspoons kosher sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 eggs, whisked with a fork
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon corn starch or potato starch
- 1/2 cup canola, grapeseed, or sunflower oil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add turnip greens and cook for 1 minute, just until wilted and brightened in color. Drain and squeeze water out with your hands.
- Combine turnip greens, onions, turnips, and potatoes in a clean dishtowel (you might need to do a couple batches depending on the size of your towel). Twist the top of the towel to squeeze as much liquid as possible out of your veggies. You'll have to do this several times to get them dry, but the muscle here is worth the results on your plate. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Stir in nutmeg, salt, and pepper flakes, toss to combine. Add eggs and flour, toss to completely combine.
- Line a baking sheet with a couple layers of paper towels.
- Heat oil in a large cast-iron pan inbetween medium and medium-high heat. When oil starts to sizzle, form loose patties (keep the edges lacy and loose, not making burgers here, the more freeform you get the better crispier latkes you'll have) from your turnip mix, squeezing out any excess liquid first, and add to the oil. Cook until golden and crispy (about 2 minutes, depending on your stove and pan), then flip and cook on the other side until golden and crispy. Transfer to paper towel lined sheet. Repeat until all latkes are done.
- Serve hot with your favorite toppings!
- If your turnips don't have greens attached, you can use kale, mustard greens, or chard instead.