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.
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.
Linda, thank you for your website, it’s very helpful.
Please, can you tell me how to prepare latkes beforehand and heat them just when the guests arrive? Thank you.
Linda Capeloto Sendowski says
To make latkes ahead, fry them and drain carefully in single layers on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Reheat in single layers for about 10 minutes at 300 degrees F. Check for doneness. You don’t want them to get any darker just crisp and hot. If yo stack them they will get soggy. Enjoy