Many students can tell you the connection between the miracle of oil in the Chanukah story and why we indulge in deep fried latkes (potato pancakes). Here, Westport blogger, Liz Rueven, focused on a lesser known story as she created these Greek inspired spinach and feta latkes with a savory creamy topping. (Read her complete blog post here)
Spinach Feta Latkes & Dilly Yogurt Topping
Serving: 25-35 latkes
A food processor makes quick work of grating potatoes and chopping onions but if you don’t have one, don’t fret. Use a box grater like your grandma did. In the same vein, a cast iron pan is a great choice for frying because it heats up more evenly than other materials. If you don’t have one, don’t fret about this either.
This is the first time I made latkes without peeling the potatoes. It saves a lot of work and doesn’t affect the flavor or texture. In fact, it probably improves the texture if you like your latkes ragged around the edges.
Prepare a cookie sheet with paper towels to place/drain your cooked latkes on.
Start by making the yogurt topping as it needs an hour to rest in the refrigerator before serving.
7 oz. container of whole milk Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
⅓ cup finely chopped cucumber
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tb. olive oil
1 Tb. lemon juice
½ tsp. Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Canola oil for frying
6 medium Russet potatoes
2 medium white onions
4 fat scallions, washed, patted dry, green part only
3 large eggs
6 oz. feta cheese, drained
1 cup fresh spinach
¼ cup fresh dill, minced
6-7 Tb. unseasoned panko bread crumbs
1 tsp. Salt
Ground pepper to taste
Make the topping:
Before making the latkes, mix the yogurt topping. It benefits from hanging out in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Place all ingredients for sauce in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning after it rests in the refrigerator.
Make the latkes:
Scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush and pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
Peel onions and chop in processor. If using a knife, chop well. Set aside.
Chop scallions and set aside.
If you need to wash the spinach, spin it very dry. Chop spinach and set aside.
Have all of your ingredients at the ready before you start shredding your potatoes.
Set up a large bowl and place a colander inside.
Shred the potatoes in the processor and place them in the colander. With a clean dishtowel over the top of the mound of shredded potatoes, press down and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
Save the potato starch that gathers in the bowl. It is the talc like substance that sinks to the bottom of the bowl. Dispose of other liquid.
Add all other latke ingredients to the same bowl, including the potato starch. Mix well with your hands.
Be sure the ingredients are well distributed and evenly mixed.
Heat ⅛ inch oil in pan. Test to be sure it is really hot by tossing a shred of potato into the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready.
Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into the pan, gently pressing down with the back of a spatula to flatten.
Allow latkes to brown and flip to cook second side. Place cooked latkes on paper towel lined cookie sheets so they can drain of excess oil.
Serve piping hot with a dollop of the dilly yogurt topping.
It’s important to have all of your ingredients measured and ready before you begin to shred the potatoes. No need to soak them in ice water if you shred them and immediately cover them with the rest of ingredients to provide oxidation.
Latkes are best eaten hot and fresh out of the pan. Still, they can be reheated successfully by placing them on a foil lined pan in a 400 degree F oven for 7-8 minutes. They should be sizzling hot.