Dana Slatkin

Quinoa Vegetable Latkes (gluten-free)

Makes 12 3-inch latkes

Pull out that cast iron pan, stockpile your potatoes and onions, arm yourself with oil. It’s latke time.

This month I’m knee-deep in them. After pouring through shelves of Jewish cookbooks over the years, testing countless recipes and swimming in oil every December, I think I’ve finally managed to master the perfect latke.

For the past decade or so, I’ve stuck with what works, a failproof formula that somehow manages to get raves every time. I have gradually made some minor tweaks to the recipe, adjusting the potato to onion ratio, adding zucchini, and honing the process down to a few steps. For you traditionalists, here is the recipe.

But if you’re willing to stretch a little this year, I have a new variation for your arsenal.

At first, my family protested. They scoffed when I presented them. But within minutes, the whole batch was gone.

Quinoa instead of potatoes? Why not? With more protein and fiber than a power bar and the savory crunch of a fritter, pass the quinoa latkes, please.

Typically, you squeeze a latke mixture to within an inch of its life in order to remove the excess liquid from the potatoes and onions. But in this case, the quinoa has none of its own moisture or starch. So I add some finely grated vegetables, which help hold the patties together and keep them juicy. If you prefer not to use eggs, you will need to add some other binder. I would suggest an egg substitute or ¼ cup of hummus, but let me know if you find something else that works.

Think of the quinoa latke like a blini or a base for bruschetta. Fun-size them for a perfect holiday hors d‘oeuvre. The topping options are endless: apple sauce, sour cream, smoked salmon, poached or fried egg, your favorite melted cheese, hummus, chutney, ratatouille, Greek yogurt or tzadziki, vegetable curry, barbeque sauce, tapenade, vegan mushroom paté, etc.

I’ve made three batches of these in three days. My teenage son pronounced, “Wait, I’m supposed to hate these. But they’re really good!” And I finally found a way to get the kids to love quinoa. I guess it really is the season for miracles.

Want to know what’s on the Farmgirl table this month? Here are a few of my favorite holiday recipes:

 

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