Joy of Cooking Recipe: Beet and Carrot Latkes for the Hanukkah Table

Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking in 1931 with the small insurance payout she received after her husband committed suicide during the Great Depression. Suddenly, society wives who used to enjoy a kitchen staff no longer had the money to employ them and began cooking for themselves. The instruction "stand facing the stove" was a bit more pragmatic than we realize. In 1936, the first commercial edition was published by Bobbs-Merrill. Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma's daughter, joined the Joy dynasty and revised and updated each subsequent edition until 1975. That edition was the first after Irma's death and was completely Marion's. Her son, Ethan Becker, has returned the book to the family's voice, revising the 1975 edition for the 75th Anniversary Edition.

Make an alternative to the usual potato latkes with this Joy of Cooking Hanukkah recipe for colorful beet and carrot latkesHanukkah faves get a colorful new twist (with antioxidants!) from Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition.

There are those who believe, and perhaps rightly so, that the humble potato pancake cannot be improved upon. A crisp, hot latke crowned with sour cream and laced with fresh applesauce is indeed one of the finer things that can grace one’s table, at Hanukkah or any other time of the year. However, the potential of the vegetable pancake tempts the enterprising cook to find other delicious combinations.

Where potato latkes are solid and starchy, the upstanding, if predictable, faction of latkes, these latkes are light and barely sweet. Exuberantly colored and blissfully earthy, our Beet and Carrot Latkes have a lovely, mild flavor (every so often punctuated by a spicy burst of freshly grated ginger) to contrast their vivid hues. Served alongside a healthy dollop of spiced yogurt and fresh chives, these latkes will enlighten and enliven your holiday celebration.

Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

by Irma S. Rombauer

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Beet and Carrot Latkes with Spiced Yogurt
Makes about 14 latkes

For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the latkes:
2 medium beets (about 1 pound), peeled and grated
4 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and grated
1 large leek, green top removed
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 inch vegetable oil

First, prepare the yogurt sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Combine the grated beets and carrots in a medium bowl. Split the leek lengthwise and rinse thoroughly, being sure to remove all grit from between the layers. Slice the leek very thinly and add to the beet-carrot mixture. Stir in the eggs, flour, ginger, salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 250°F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.

Scoop the beet mixture into the hot skillet using a 1/3 cup measure and flatten the latkes slightly. Do not crowd them. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. If necessary, add more oil to the skillet between batches. As each batch finishes, place the latkes on a paper towel-lined platter, and place in the preheated oven.

Serve hot with the yogurt sauce and:
Snipped chives

Photo by John Becker

Recipe excerpted from Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker. Copyright © 2006 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Excerpted with permission by Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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