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Change of pace: Vibrant beets brighten up a traditional Hanukkah dish

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour

1/2 tablespoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Canola oil, for frying

About an hour before serving, start making the honey-mustard applesauce. Put the apples, apple juice, honey, sugar, lemon juice and zest, mustard seeds, and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and then reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until the apples are soft enough to mash with the back of a fork, about 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a heatproof mixing bowl, remove the lemon zest, and use a potato masher to mash the apples to a coarse puree. Set aside.

Start preparing the beet latkes about 30 minutes before serving. Put the shredded beets in a large mixing bowl. With several layers of paper towels, press down on them to absorb excess moisture, turning the beet shreds and using more towels as necessary to absorb as much moisture as possible.

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Add the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper to the beets. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add just enough oil to coat the bottom. When the oil is hot enough to flow easily when the skillet is tilted, use a tablespoon to scoop up a heaping spoonful of the beet mixture and place it in the skillet, gently pressing down with the back of the spoon to flatten it. Fry until the latkes are golden-brown, about 3 minutes per side, turning them with a small scratchproof spatula.

When the latkes are done, transfer them in a single layer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat the process to cook the remaining mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as necessary.

Serve the latkes as a side dish with main-course meat, poultry or seafood, or as an appetizer on their own, passing the applesauce alongside.



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