The eight days of Hanukkah will be starting tomorrow, and while you likely already have a few family recipes for meatless meals up your sleeve, why not consider a few new traditions? For those who don't celebrate Hanukkah, this can be the perfect opportunity to taste a few Hanukkah recipes, some more traditional than others.
Hanukkah is a celebration of light; in memory of the eight days and nights that the oil burned in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, many fried foods tend to find their way onto the Hanukkah table. Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration that frequently features dairy dishes -- which according to Kosher law cannot feature meat --so there's more than enough time to try out some of our meatless Hanukkah recipes.
Start things off with a vegetarian Hanukkah borscht. This classic Russian beet soup is made a bit lighter with a tomato base in place of beef, making it the perfect appetizer for a heavy meal of traditional fried foods! This recipe makes a big batch, so you can either eat it for all eight days or freeze some for the cold weather still ahead.
Image by: Kate Sears
What would Hanukkah be without potato pancakes? These are a bit different than your traditional latke; they're made in rosti style and topped with a tasty poached egg. While the potato pancake base would be perfect on a latke platter, we are big fans of this meal for lunch -- especially to use up leftover latkes from the night before!
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The fried food tradition of Hanukkah doesn't need to be entirely unhealthy; falafel, while deep-fried, are packed full of healthy vegetarian proteins. Some versions use chickpeas; others use fava beans. Whichever version you serve is only better alongside harissa, hummus and a fresh salad.
When Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fell on the same day in 2013, many sought out recipes that could combine the culinary traditions of both holidays. These sweet potato knishes will still be perfect for your Hanukkah table, even with Thanksgiving come and gone. The baked knish recipe is dairy-free, so feel free to make double and reheat them to accompany a meat meal on one of the eight nights!
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Top image: Liz West