Spiced Potato & Carrot Latkes
A few years back, I participated in a holiday secret swap for foodies around the country. I packed up and shipped a box full of Michigan-made products, as well a batch of my sour cream sugar cookie recipe to a gal in North Carolina.
The woman who had my name was from the Baltimore area, and she sent me a variety of Baltimore favorites (like mind-blowing Berger Cookies) as well as international treats collected while traveling.
The only thing that still remains of that swap box is a small jar of homemade za’atar that this woman’s roommate had brought back from Jordan while visiting relatives there.
Za’atar is a spice and seed mix popular throughout the Middle East that is comprised of herbs like dried thyme, oregano and majoram, plus toasted sesame seeds, salt and sometimes sumac.
This za’atar is very special to me, and has so much flavor, but I only use it sparingly. It’s essentially irreplaceable, since I’ve lost the contact info for the woman who gave it to me, and who knows how often her roommate gets back to Jordan, for that matter.
I deemed these latkes a special occasion fitting of breaking out the za’atar, because I just love a good latke. To get the best, crispiest latkes, you want to start with shredded russet potatoes (also the best choice for cabbage potato soup).
To jazz up these latkes, mix in some carrots for a bit of sweetness, and onions to add depth. A combination of za’atar and cumin ensures lots of flavor in every single bite.
Finish these Spiced Potato & Carrot Latkes with a dollop of Greek yogurt and parsley, and serve them with orange glazed chicken, and you’re in business!
- 1 small onion, shredded
- 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and shredded
- 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and shredded
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 chopped fresh parsley leaves, divided
- 1/4 cup matzo meal
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons za’atar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- Place onion, potatoes and carrots in a cheesecloth-lined colander set over large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes, squeezing occasionally. Drain off and discard all liquid in the bowl except white starch paste that settles at bottom.
- Add onion, potatoes, carrots, eggs, 1/4 cup parsley, matzo meal, butter, salt, za’atar, baking powder (if using), pepper and cumin to the bowl with reserved starch; stir to combine.
- In a large, heavy, non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Using a tablespoon, spoon potato mixture into skillet, using about 3 tablespoons per latke. (Skillet should hold about 3 latkes at a time.) Flatten mixture slightly with a spatula. Cook latkes 4 minutes, then flip and cook another 4 minutes or until brown, crisp and cooked through.
- Remove latkes from the skillet, then transfer them to a serving platter and keep warm in a 300° F oven until serving.
- Cook remaining latkes in batches, using 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet for each batch. Serve latkes with yogurt and remaining 1/4 cup parsley.