For a change from traditional Potato Pancakes, try these Cauliflower Latkes for Hanukkah, Passover, or as a side dish for winter meals. Giora Shimoni also likes to add steamed and mashed broccoli to the pancake batter. If you use a whole head of cauliflower and broccoli, just remember to double the rest of the ingredients.
Miri's Recipe Testing Notes and Tips
- The original recipe called for 3 eggs; if this makes the batter too eggy and loose, reduce the number. If you have a very large head of cauliflower, you may find another egg useful for binding the batter, but will probably need to add additional flour as well.
- Instead of topping these delicate latkes with applesauce and sour cream, take a cue from Indian cuisine and pair them with your favorite store-bought or homemade chutney (Blake Hill Preserves offers some great kosher options) and sliced scallions or mint. If you're serving a dairy meal, add a dollop of cucumber raita.
- Want to spice up your latkes? Try accenting the batter with a little curry powder, garam masala, za'atar, or Old Bay.
- If you're feeling intimidated by frying, don't fret. These latke making tips will have you turning out pancakes like a pro. And if you don't feel like standing over a skillet, never fear -- included below are instructions for no-fuss oven frying.
Updated by Miri Rotkovitz
- 1 large head cauliflower (fresh, washed, and cut into florets)
- 2 large eggs (beaten)
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or matzah meal (plus extra if needed)
- 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper)
- 2 quarts sunflower or canola oil (or enough for frying)
- In a large stockpot, bring a few inches of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the florets are soft enough to be mash easily with a fork.
- Drain the cauliflower in a colander. Mash lightly with a fork, leaving some texture rather than creating a puree. Set aside the cauliflower to cool a bit.
- Place cauliflower in a mixing bowl. Stir in the beaten eggs. Sprinkle with the flour or matzah meal, and mix well to create a pancake-like batter. (If needed, add more flour or matzah meal 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition). Season with the salt and pepper.
- To Pan Fry: Line a plate with paper towels. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, warm a few tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the pan, taking care not to crowd the pan. Flatten the pancakes a bit so they are not too thick to cook well in the middle. Fry approximately 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until the latkes are browned on both sides and firm in the middle. Remove from frying pan onto the paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil and cool.
- Add more oil to the pan, heat, and continue frying the remaining latkes in batches, until the rest of the batter is used. Serve hot.
- Or, To Oven Fry: Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper, and drizzle with a little oil. Drop the batter by the tablespoon onto the prepared sheets, and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon. Drizzle the pancakes with more oil.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully turn with a spatula and cook for 10 to 12 minutes more, or until the latkes are cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Serve immediately.