It hasn’t been so long since I made latke’s, I know. Initially, I had planned to put a larger gap between blogging the potato and beet latke recipes, but then, I made them, and they were so good I just had to share.
The recipe is based on one I found in a new cookbook of mine, Jewish Food: The World at Table. I found it while browsing in an independent bookshop that I love to visit when I have time. I can spend hours idling in bookshops and libraries, it’s a favourite past time. I’ve had to restrict it as I was hoarding too many books, something which became very obvious when I moved! I spotted the beet latkes recipe, and decided I’d buy it. That recipe aside, it’s a fascinating book, with loads of background information, and great recipes for Jewish food as varied as Ashkenazi food to Jewish Indian food.
So, back to the latkes. It’s basically the same as a potato latke, except that you substititute raw beetroot for raw potato, and instead of serving with sour cream and apple sauce, use goat’s cheese, which, when the latkes are hot, melts into them. I used a brie-like goats cheese that I brought back from Ireland, Gortnamona (a soft mould ripened Irish goats cheese), I love it and always bring some back from my trips home. You could use chevre, or any goats cheese really. Beetroot and Goat’s cheese go so well together, lovely paired in salads and tarts and now latkes also.
These latkes are a little more straightforward than potato ones, in that you don’t need to wring out excess moisture, the grated beetroot is good to go once grated. However, peeling and grating them was a nightmare, especially as I grated my knuckle, but that’s user error so you don’t need to worry about that. I dont’ have a food processor at the moment so I had to grate by hand which took forever, and half way through I was cursing that I’d even begun, but the result was worth all the pain. Once the grating is over, it’s so easy, you just mix everything. The kitchen did look like I’d killed someone after, with beetroot bits and splashes of pink everywhere. My jeans will never be redeemed, but I think it was worth it.
So, this recipe is adapted to metric measurements, and I’ve increased the amount of onion, which is a personal preference. It makes 6 large or 8 smaller latkes. I was making them for one (well, one + lunch), however, I think this recipe suffices for two people.
200g raw beetroot, peeled & grated
1 tsp orange zest
1 small onion, grated
Olive oil or sunflower oil (or similar)
Mix the beetroot, onion, orange zest, flour and egg throughly.
Heat about half a cm of the oil until hot but not smoking.
Add dessertspoon full amounts of latke batter to the oil and flatten into a latke shape.
Cook for about 7 minutes on one side, until crispy and brown (although, in truth it’s virtually impossible to tell when something that purple is brown! Judge by texture.)
Turn and cook on the other side. It will take less time.
Drain on kitchen paper, and add the goat’s cheese to the top whilst still warm. As much as you fancy really.