The Joy of Vegan Latkes

Ever since the VegNews Holiday Cookbook came out, I’ve had a craving for vegan latkes.  There’s a bit of back story to this.  When I was a kid, I had a Jewish friend whose family celebrated a fairly traditional Hanukkah.  Every year, her mom would come to our elementary school and share some of the things they did for the holiday.  We played with dreidels, listened to Hanukkah stories and, of course, ate latkes!

It’s been fifteen years since the last time I had the pleasure of enjoying that celebration.  I’ve thought about latkes on and off ever since but never made any of my own.  Last night, I decided to finally cook up some of these crispy potato treats.

The recipe was easy and came together fast with the aid of the food processor to shred the potatoes and onions.  Before long six little latkes were frying away.

latkes frying 01
I probably could have stood to use more oil, but I still have some hangups with fried food and was afraid of using too much.  As a result, these turned out a little on the soft side, more like a hash brown than a latke, but the flavor was still good.  Next time, more oil at a bit of a higher temperature to achieve that latke crunch!

latkes frying 02
I waffled for a while on what to make to go along with these.  Having never made latkes before, I wasn’t really sure what would taste good.  Vegan Yum Yum came to my rescue with a unique little chickpea and artichoke heart salad.

chickpea artichoke heart salad
Chickpeas and artichoke hearts sauteed until golden, then mixed with ground almonds, a little lemon juice, and parsley?  Yes please.  It was awesome over kale.  Between the chickpeas and the almonds, it had a nice crunchy texture.  The overall flavor was a good compliment to the latkes.

latkes and salad 01
So, lesson learned: if you’re going to fry something, don’t be afraid to really fry it to get the right texture and flavor!  Other than that, this was a successful meal that’s definitely worth repeating.

latkes and salad 02