Whether you call them latkes or potato pancakes, these delicious golden vegetable patties are delicious year-round, but especially good in the colder months when you want something a bit earthier and heartier, while still sticking to your veggies. These are great to make at home on a whim, because you really only need vegetables, a binder, and any seasonings you’d like. Read on to learn how to make potato pancakes with (almost!) any vegetable.
Grate the Vegetables
First, select the vegetables you want to use. Root vegetables and tubers are going to be your best bet, as they contain just enough starch to help the pancake stick together and have cohesion when you cook them up. If you’re not sure if your vegetable is appropriate to use, ask yourself: Will this vegetable grate, and is it a bit starchy? If so, there’s a good chance it will work. If it will grate but doesn’t have a lot of starch in it (such as a zucchini), combine it with a more starchy vegetable (like sweet potato) for better cohesion in the pancake. Some great choices are: potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, zucchini, carrots, parsnips, turnips, radishes, or beets. Once you’ve selected your vegetable(s), grate them finely using the grating attachment of a food processor, and squeeze out as much of the liquid from the vegetables as you can.
Next, you may add seasonings to your vegetables. This is optional, but of course a few seasonings never hurt anything. Go easy on the ingredients you add here, however, as you don’t want to interfere with the vegetables’ ability to bind later. Some tasty add-ins include: a bit of grated onion, minced fresh herbs (parsley, scallions, chives, or basil work great), minced garlic, or a small handful of parmesan cheese or feta cheese. Mix your seasonings in with your grated vegetables in a large bowl.
Add a Binder
Finally, add a binder to your vegetables to help form them into cohesive pancakes. Traditionally, eggs and flour are added, but if you’re vegan you may use an egg replacer of choice. There’s no set rule for how much binder to add to your vegetables (as each vegetable has a different level of starch and bind-ability), but a good place to start is: for every 1 pound of vegetables you use, add 2 eggs (or equivalent egg replacer) and 2 tablespoons flour. First, add the flour to your vegetable mix and toss well to coat. Then, beat the eggs and fold them into the mixture until well coated.
Pan-Fry or Bake
Now you’re ready to cook your pancakes. Using your hands, form your vegetable mixture into 2- or 3-inch patties, and arrange evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten them gently with a spatula. Bake at a preheated 425F oven for about 10 minutes on each side, until pancakes are golden and just-crisped on the edges.
Alternatively, you can pan-fry your prepared vegetable pancakes. Heat a few hearty glugs of vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high, and fry gently on each side until browned.
Serve with a Dipping Sauce
Serve up your vegetable pancakes with an assortment of dipping sauces. Applesauce, sour cream, and yogurt are all excellent choices, and provide both a sweet and savory contract of flavors for your deliciously browned vegetable pancakes.
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