Celery Root Latkes

by Linda Capeloto Sendowski on December 10, 2011

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My friend Sheilah Kaufman asked me the other day if I had a Sephardic latke recipe for Hanukah.  I replied that we loved potato latkes, but other than zucchini or sweet potato I wasn’t aware for any other different recipes. My mom, Nona Chiprut and the other Sephardic ladies I grew up with made Bumuelos or Loukoumades a doughnut type dish.  Friday I had my big idea, Celery root fritters or latkes.  I happened to have 2 large celery roots in the back of the refrigerator that I wanted to experiment with and add to mashed potatoes, but I shredded them instead and made latkes.  A little drier than potatoes, I skipped the squeezing out the liquid step and they fried beautifully.  Light, golden, and leaving a hint of celery in your mouth they were very tasty.

Serves 5 to 7

5 cups grated celery root or about 2 very large celery roots

1 teaspoon sea salt or to your taste

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon zest

2 tablespoons flour

Sunflower oil or other vegetable oil for frying

Wash and carefully peel celery roots until totally clean.  Grate celery roots on large holes of a box grater in to a large bowl.  Add salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and flour.  Mix well with your hands.  Heat a large frying pan to medium high and when it is hot add sunflower oil to a little less than 1/ 4 inch deep.  Shape latkes loosley by hand and gently slide them into hot oil. When you can see the underside turning gold around the edges, flip latkes over with a spatula.  When latkes are golden brown and crispy remove from oil and drain on paper towel lined plates in a single layer.  Continue frying, do not crowd the pan.  If you need more oil gently add in a bit from the side. Latkes should be thin and flat.

Serve celery latkes hot with apple sauce, cranberry sauce, or pomegranate reduction syrup.

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