parsnip-latkes-with-horseradish-and-dill Recipes

parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill

I have this affliction or maybe you could call it a fixation with latkes. And I know you’re probably thinking, potato pancakes? With shredded onion? They’re good, but are they really worth obsessing over? But you’d be using the literal definition of latkes and to me, latkes are not so much a singular recipe with a finite ingredient list but an approach to pancakes; an approach that could include anything that can be shredded and fried. And oh, when you start from this vantage point, they most certainly will.

parnsips, potato -- not pretty yet
shredded

I’ve made potato latkes, sure. Many times, even. But then I made mixed vegetable latkes with Indian spices and curry-lime yogurt. I made apple latkes, replete with a caramel sauce made from the juice you wring from the shredded apples. (I waste nothing in the kitchen. My grandmother would be so proud!) This past summer, I made zucchini fritters to solve a dinner crisis. And now, there’s this: Parsnips. Potatoes. Dill. Horseradish. Lemon juice.

ready to wring out

piled in the pan
flipped and crisp

I kind of feel like these are potato latkes that went off to Russia, knocked back vodka in large gulps with some dude named Zamir (in an effort to prove that it wasn’t “a wuss or a reactionary revanchist Trotskyite provocateur”) and then came back with a fresh take on things. Or maybe that’s what I want to being doing right now? Honestly, it’s unclear. I do suspect that these would go as well with cocktails as they would on your Hanukah dinner table. I am also pretty sure they are all my son ate for dinner for two nights. And I can state with authority that if you wish to impress the your mother’s synagogue women’s group by demonstrating a new twist on latkes, these are absolutely the way to go. I should tell you about that some time; it was a hoot. In the meanwhile, Za Vas! And may you enjoy your latkes as well.

parsnip latkes

One year ago: Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies
Two years ago: How to Host Brunch (and Still Sleep In)
Three years ago: Sausage-Stuffed Potatoes, Seven-Layer Cookies, Grasshopper Brownies, Potato Pancakes, Even Better and Braised Beef Short Ribs
Four years ago: A Slice-and-Bake Cookie Palette, Blue Cheese Iceberg Wedge
Five years ago: Boozy Baked French Toast, Short Ribs Bourguignon, Ganache Tart, Marzipan and Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti

Potato-Parsnip Latkes with Horseradish and Dill

Yield: About 18 2 1/2 to 3-inch latkes

Pancakes
1/2 pound (about 1 large) Russet potato
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound parsnips (about 2 large or 4 medium)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil (or a mix of olive and vegetable or peanut oil) for frying

Sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped dill

Preheat: Oven to 250 degrees. Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with foil and leave them in the oven until needed.

Prepare vegetables: Peel vegetables and grate them on the large holes of a box grater or (my preferred method) using the shredding blade of a food processor. If using the food processor, I like to lay the vegetables sideways in the chute, in an attempt to get the longest strands of vegetables. This creates latkes that look like little piles of mops, which is my goal.

Transfer shredded vegetables to a lint-free dishtowel or square of cheesecloth, and wring out as much liquid as possible. Let stand for two minutes, then wring again. Wetness is the enemy of crisp, light latkes, so we want to get rid of as much as possible.

Make batter: Transfer wrung-out vegetables to a large bowl. Add lemon juice. In a tiny dish, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and any herbs or additional seasonings and toss with vegetables, evenly coating the strands. In the same tiny dish, whisk your egg(s) and then stir this into the vegetable-flour mixture, evenly coating the strands.

Prepare pan: Heat a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Once skillet is hot, add 3 tablespoons oil and heat oil until shimmering. If you’re unsure, you can flick a droplet of water onto the oil; if it hisses and sputters, you’re good to go.

Cook: Using a fork or your fingertips (letting the eggy batter drain off a little is good), gather spoonful-sized mounds of battered vegetables and drop them onto the heated skillet. When golden underneath, 3 to 4 minutes later, flip pancakes. [If you’re using a gas range, you’ll likely have to rotate your pancakes 180 degrees halfway through the cooking time so that they color evenly underneath.] Cook on the other side until nicely bronzed underneath, another 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to paper towels briefly to drain pancakes, before transferring them again to tray(s) in warm oven. If latkes cook too quickly or slowly on the stove, adjust the heat accordingly.

Add more oil if needed (you want to keep the pan at that 3 tablespoon level), being sure it is heated before adding more pancakes to the skillet. Repeat with remaining batter. I like to keep the latkes in the oven for at least 10 minutes to ensure they’ve cooked through before serving them. This gives you time to…

Make sauce: Mix sauce ingredients in a small dish. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Serve: Warm with a dollop of the sauce.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

163 comments on parsnip latkes with horseradish and dill

  1. In Sweden we call it “Rårakor” (without parsnips) and eat them with lingonberry jam but this sounds delicious too! Definitely something I shall try!

  2. I am a firm believer that horseradish sauce makes everything better. I’m making up a big batch of the horseradish sauce from Sunday Suppers at Lucques later today to go with the shortribs for Christmas dinner and now I think the meal won’t be complete without parsnip latkes. I like my starches to come in as many forms as possible for a meal.

  3. Looks and sounds delicious! I think a latke obsession is one of the most understandable thing, I’m among the weak…
    I have been making for the past few years parsnip-leek latkes (no potato), I also include some of the dark green parts of the leeks into the mix. It started off with too many leeks and parsnips form the CSA and turned into a favorite, next time I’ll try it with your horseradish sauce.
    Happy Chanukah!

  4. Gah, food is the number one reason I love exploring new cultures. Latkes are nothing new to me, of course, but Russia? So exotic! Though I admit, me and vodka? We’re old chums. Well, let’s just say we have an up-and-down relationship.

  5. The Food Network magazine (Dec issue) has a similar recipe but they paired it with an applesauce topping. I like the sound of your sour cream topping much better!

  6. Looks good! I might try a celeriac version. Freshly cut parsnips and celery root are two of my favorite smells, so I imagine they would pair well for this recipe.

  7. Love this: “latkes are not so much a singular recipe with a finite ingredient list but an approach to pancakes; an approach that could include anything that can be shredded and fried” and also love the inclusion of the parsnips. Cant’ wait to give these a spin (or fry) over the holidays!

  8. Deb, those look divine! Do you think they would be a good option to bring to a Christmas buffet table (i.e. could they be made ahead and reheated)? Thank you for all the inspiration you give us!

  9. Thanks to an abundance of celery root and sweet potatoes from our CSA, those were the ingredients for our latkes last night. Yum. Yours sound great.

  10. Your photos are wonderful! Do you think that every good kitchen really needs a cast iron pan? I’m debating getting one. What do you love about yours?

    1. Susan — Yes! And they’re cheap. I mean, a big All-Clad skillet could run you $200. My 12-inch cast iron was under $20. Nothing browns like cast iron. And once it is well-seasoned (the Logic ones arrive well-seasoned, making it even easier) it works as well as a nonstick, while giving your food a good crisp edge. And if taken care of, you can give it to your grandkids. All for under $20.

      heather — Funny, I was really thinking about playing around with it this year. Maybe there’s still time!

  11. We made latkes just last night and my children stood in a line, at the stove, waiting for the ‘crispies’. These are the little shreds of potatoes that come off the latkes and get very crispy in the pools of oil. Ours were very good… but I may have to have them a second time, if only for the horseradish! Great idea. And beautiful latkes, too.

  12. I look forward to trying them–if you need another option, I find spaghetti squash makes a great latke. It I’m going really crazy I add freshly grated locatelli to the standard onion, egg, and flour binding.

  13. I made your zucchini fritters shortly after you posted them this summer and they came out DIVINE. My boyfriend’s belly was so happy especially with a fried egg on top. The yolk smothered the stack of fritters and even I, was in heaven. Thank you so much!

  14. Zamir??? Not sure this is the first name that comes to mind when thinking about motherRussia :)

    love the latkes, thank you for another fantastic recipe – every recipe of yours I tried is just perfect!!!

  15. these look incredibly awesome. I’ve made veggie latkes in big batches for breakfast since I had to give up wheat, but these may make me go over to just parsnips…..

    Also, I know this is heresy, but have you ever tried baking them? I spread a little oil on both sides, and then bake them, turning them over half way through. It lets me do big batches all at once. (Plus, I always manage to burn them on the stove. I may be a klutz.)

    can’t wait to try these!

  16. We’ve been making Joan Nathan’s Parsnip Carrot Latkes for years, and most of our Hanukkah party guests over the years have become converts! There are made with 5 parsnips for every 2 carrots, no potato at all, and are Yum. Next time I’ll try your horseradish-dill sour cream with – should be great.
    Tomorrow however I plan to try rutabaga-celeriac latkes, because that’s what we have left from the last CSA share.

  17. I live in France and through yet another miscommunication (I really should be studying my French and stop all of this running around! Yeah right) I ended up with one kg (roughly 2 pounds) of delicious sauerkraut for the two of us. Needless to say I’m getting creative in the use of sauerkraut – meatballs, chocolate cake, soup, etc. I decided to make latkes and they were so delicious. Another happy mistake at the market. Parsnips abound here as well so thanks for another delicious idea. Happy New Year!

  18. I was surprised not to find “sweet potato latkes” on your latkes list. If you haven’t tried them, you should. They’re fabulous . . . and fabulously easy, because you don’t have to wring out the shredded sweet potatoes.

  19. So you need to tell me more about pancake rotation with a gas range. I always figured that a hot cast iron pan would create as even browning as possible…what’s the logic behind rotation? This is huge- wouldn’t apply to just latkes, no?

    1. Michelle B — Actually, in hindsight, it relates more to the kind of dinky gas range I have. I don’t think nicer ones, not that I have much experience with them, have this same problem. Essentially, the flame on my stove comes out of a ring that is about two inches in diameter. When the flame is low, it’s basically a 2-inch ring. When it’s medium, it might go up to 3 inches. So, when I use a large skillet, anything over the center three inches get nice and brown, but the pancakes that are around the edges of the pan don’t brown evenly. So, I rotate them. Hope that helps.

  20. I LOVE parsnips and putting them into a latke is genius! The sweetness of the parsnip paired with the tang of the horseradish sauce seems like it would be perfect–especially alongside a nice roasted tenderloin! I will definitely be making these, thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Every December, like clockwork, I get a yen for latkes. As a kid, my job was to grate many red spuds & mom added the rest. I’m anxious to try Russet spuds & parsnips, a favorite of my hubby. Thanks for yet another great idea!

  22. Deb, any response to the post re: baking the latkes? or making them ahead of time and reheating? I WANT to make these for Christmas dinner with prime rib and have to work in son’s tiny full kitchen so would be great to make ahead if possible…I visit you every day for the happiness you bring.

    1. rosemary — I haven’t tried baking latkes before but it looks like annie in comment #57 has some tips. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work but I personally love the potato-chip like crunch at the edge they get when I fry them.

  23. I made potato-zucchini latkes with Mom the other day. She tried to sell me on the family recipe, which is Streit’s latke mix with dehydrated onion in it, but I remain convinced that actual vegetables are better, even if less well amalgamated. (I like that you treat “little piles of mops” as the goal.) Anyway, we had them with the chopped-radish-in-Greek-yogurt dip that I’d made for blini the week before, and it was a nice bright, tangy option. And now I know that if chopped red radishes sit in yogurt for a week the yogurt acquires a princessy pink color.

  24. Delish! I added a slight bit of grated onions to the mix cause I couldn’t live without them. LOVE the sour cream topping. Makes it so gourmet! Thank you…

  25. I hope you enjoy the festive season Deb. Thanks so much for all the beatiful recipes. I have tried so many this year. So inspiring!

  26. These sound delish! Several years ago I figured out the true secret to perfect, crisp latkes — dry potatoes. And what dries better than my Oxo salad spinner — nothing?! I have been in latke nirvana ever since. Can’t wait to take these parsnip beauties for a spin! Thanks for all the great recipes — long-time fan, first-time commenter.

  27. Yum yum yum. I am making these next week when I am sick of Brit Christmas food (meat, roast veg, fruit cakes and puddings…). Can’t wait. Happy Holidays!

  28. Can you make these without the potatoes? I cant eat any potatoes, pasta, rice, corn, beans, or bread for at least 6 more months….

  29. Well, this is a happy alignment of the planets – Our tradition is to have latkes for Christmas Eve supper and I also happen to have parsnips. Why would I fight it?

    Thanks, Deb. Happy Hanukkah!

  30. I was complaining about my chickens not eating the left over pasta after I have chicken parmesan and my friend asked me if I had ever made “fried spaghetti.” I had never heard of such animal so I went looking and I found thesmitten.com

    I don’t know why you changed but it made me smile to “see” you elsewhere.

    Happy Holidays

  31. I just made these with rutabaga (because that’s what was available), and they were great! And the sauce was perfect. Thanks for inspiring me to make latkes for the first time.

  32. Yummers! Made these tonight with a garnet yam instead of russet; paired with lamb chop and braised kale, beautiful and delicious!!

    The horseradish sour cream is so good, I’m excited to find uses for the leftovers!

  33. Potato pancakes, aka Latkes. One and only one recipe. Only potatoes, Russet. Grate potatoes and onion by hand (enroll relatives to help) — no food processor — unless you’re cooking for more than eight people. Squeeze out in flour-sack towel. Add some beaten egg and . . . , well you know the rest. Enjoy the crispy crunchy potatoes and feel the connection to relatives past. *Sigh.* Happy Hanukkah all! p.s. I may have to break down and try these — you have a way of tempting me.

  34. I love latkes or potatoe pancakes-I will try the parsnip latkes for New Years Eve.Just have to get the horseradish.Thanks for the tip-
    Gina

  35. latkes are TOTALLY worth obsessing over! maybe just because as a non jewish person i hardly ever get to eat them, especially with the requisite applesauce and sour cream. just about worth converting for.

    1. Yael — There isn’t enough oil in the pan to dip a thermometer into. I tried to give clear instructions in the recipe of when the oil is hot enough — “hisses and sputters” not, say, just barely zzz’s when you put a drop of water in.

  36. This year we happily discovered sweet potato latkes. A huge sweet potato mixed with a few tiny yellow finns, a red potato, an onion. Instead of wheat, I added sorghum and garbanzo flours, til batter just ceases being runny. I increase the eggs and skip the baking powder. Since the sweet potatoes are very dry, this batter does not spatter oil the way potatoes do. They also seem to absorb less oil than my traditional recipes.
    These latkes are enhanced by freshly cooked apples and yogurt.
    I will try parsnips next.

  37. Who ever said parsnips were icky, dirty and pale carrot wannabes?…oh yeah, me about a year ago without even trying them. Whoops. Now that I’ve unlocked their inner deliciousness, I love me some roasted or toasted parsnips! Fab work with these!

  38. I just made the “regular” latkes this week. I used the 5 lb. bag of red potatoes, 1 onion. Just 4 adults ate the whole thing & I was banking on having leftovers. So, now I’m gonna try this recipe – thanks!

  39. Dear Deb
    This Christmastime I wanted to thank you for being such an important part of my growth as a cook! My tummy, my own cooking blog and my well fed family are so very grateful to you!

  40. I did parsnip/carrot/apple/scallion “latkes” for Thanksgiving and they were awesome. Used your cheesecloth method from the zucch fritters :)

  41. I saw this post and I was dying to make them. Then, I got my CSA box today with 3 medium sized parsnips and 4 small potatoes. Perfect! Rosemary (#73): after reading your comment, I was worried about burning it on my stove as well. So, I only cooked them on the stove for about 1 minute per side – just enough for the pancake to take shape. Then, I slid them into the oven for 20 minutes instead of 10. Golden brown and crispy at the edges. I will definitely make these again. Thanks, Deb! =)

  42. Holy, latke magic. I just did a little write-up on The Kitchn on latkes that deviated from plain ol’ white potatoes and these would’ve been quite at home. You’re always spot on, Deb. Thanks so much for the constant inspiration this year (and always).

    By the way, my family and I made your cider donut recipe on Christmas morning and it was a big hit and a new tradition. The best Christmas morning breakfast I can recall. Hope you all had a restful and warm holiday together.

  43. Made these (minus the dill) for Chanukah along side some plain old-fashioned potato latkes and some potato-apple latkes. These were definitely the breakout hit of the evening.

  44. Absolutely gorgeous! These look like they glow from within.I’ll have to try these. My kids love parsnips. They call them those sweet white carrot thingys. Yum!

  45. Made these last night for friends and they went down a storm! It was my first time making latkes, and I am very glad your instructions included wringing out the shredded veg, because they turned out nice and crispy on the outside. I also enjoyed being able to prepare the batter just ahead of my guests’ arrival and do the frying while chatting it up in the kitchen. Just discovered your blog and will be back again and again!

  46. So I invited a couple of friends for the eighth candle eve. When I told them I am going to make parsnip latkes with horseradish, there were kind of dubious and said they bring baguette and cheese. Even the love of my life tried to claim that it is “untreditional”, and therefore I should pass this one. But my faith (in Deb) is strong. I made them and they were huge success. Lots of donuts, baguette and cheese was left at the end, but the latkes were over very quickly.
    Thank you Deb.

  47. I didn’t know they had a name but recently had an appetizer at a funky little bistro that I recreated for Christmas. Latkes (now I know), topped with goat cheese, smoked salmon, and fresh fennel. Delish! They got better the more you ate. Could have been the bellini slushies I made to go with them…. but no, they were amazing on their own. Can’t wait for New Years to make them again.

  48. Deb,
    Your Bourdain reference just made my love for you even stronger!!!! oh that zamir :)
    Also, I made regular latkes for my parents on boxing day…thought about adding the parsnip but wasn’t sure they would go for that. Now I’m so sad I didn’t put horseradish in the sour cream! Will have to make again asap, experimenting with different vegetables. Love the idea of beets, and also celeriac.

  49. These are amazing! Previous attempts at latkes were way to wet, addition of parsnip solved this problem completely. Fried up like a dream.

  50. I’ve been reading your blog for the past year or so and have made several of your recipes — they always turn out so well! Just made these yesterday for a New Year’s brunch — it was my first time ever making latkes, first time doing anything with parsnips, and first time ever using the shred disc on my cuisinart. I don’t think I managed to squeeze out quite enough of the water, but people kept digging back into the latkes, so I think they were a hit! I am not sure if the potato added much to them — if they were all parsnip, would that be bad? At any rate, thanks so much for the recipe (and the gorgeous photos!)

  51. I just tried parsnips for the first time in this curry parsnip soup I made. They are wonderful and in season right now. My vow this year is to cook more with fruits and vegetables that are in season. They are less expensive and taste wonderful as they are at their peak flavor.

  52. Hi Deb,
    Been obsessing over your blog for about a year now…it’s almost pathological, but I sincerely cannot help myself! I made these on Chanukah and they were so delicious. The parsnip and dill gave the latkes the perfect little lift since potatoes can be kinda dull on the palete. One problem, the latkes kinda stuck to thepan. Could it be because I didn’t let the pan get hot before adding oil? Thanks for a beautiful blog and wonderful recipes!

  53. Deb, I swapped spices and used sweet potatoes and onions for the vegetables. SO GOOD. They were too good, in fact — not everyone got one, and the folks who got four or five refused to apologize for hogging them. Thanks for the terrific inspiration and fail-safe instructions!

  54. I made these, but subbed out the parsnips with turnips (because I had some I desperately needed to get rid of). They were excellent, only there was slightly too much egg as turnips are both very dry and non-absorbent (or at least, my were, they were also very old and dry in the middle.)

  55. shalom and good evening
    Your blog is so beautiful . about the latkes…traditionally it should be only with potato+ eggs .that’s in our Jewish tradition and eaten in Pesah. But I like your ideas .
    Regards from Israel

  56. I made these today as written w/the exception of subbing our recently dried dill for the fresh. Yum! The husband was very impressed with my (your) cooking skills.

  57. These look great! i love latkes. i see you’ve discussed your cast-iron skillet. Can you please describe your food processor? Not having to grate parsnips, or really anything these days sounds divine!

  58. My family has been making sweet potato pancakes for years — our recipe originally came from Narsai David’s radio show (I think), but it’s probably evolved since then. I second (or third?) the recommendation that you add these to your list. Sweet potato pancakes come directly from heaven.

  59. My fiancé and I just enjoyed these, and they were delicious! I have tried a sweet potatoe version before (and, of course, being swedish, just plain with potatoes as Lovisa described above), and these were similar, but tasted better. And the sauce was perfect too, just the right kind of saltiness.

  60. my son loves latkes!! and now i have something to do with the left over parsnips in the fridge! making these babies for dinner tonight! if i stay on this site much longer we are going to eat nothing but “smittenkitchen” food all day….and i wouldn’t have a problem with that at all:)

  61. Hi, I love your’s all recipes, but this one is so tasty. I would like to thank you becouse you are my inspiration in the kitchen. Well done.

  62. I so want to make these tonight and have all the ingredients, but I’m trying this painful and potentially ridiculous gluten-free thing. Do you think this would work without the flour?

  63. So I’m about a year late to this recipe but we made them last night and they were delicious. I didn’t feel like wringing out the veggies so I pressed them with the potato ricer after shredding. It extracted lots of water and the latkes were crisp.

  64. Deb, thank you sooo much for this recipe– they were AMAZING. I barely got to eat any because I was busy frying them while everyone else was busy eating them and they were gone in a *flash*. Will have to make more tomorrow when we have no dinner guests. :) Also– I substituted Tapioca Starch for the Flour to make it GF– it was PERFECT!!!

  65. My friend made these for dinner for us the other night and I had to find th recipe! They are delicious!

    Do you have any advice for preparing them ahead? I have company coming over right after work this Friday and I’d love to make these earlier in the week, but am worried about them getting soggy. Help!

  66. Hi Deb, we are planning to make some latkes on Friday night (already made a little batch of your potato ones earlier this week) and have some beets and celeriac from our CSA. Do you think substituting celeriac for parsnip in this recipe would work? They seem pretty similar to me as far as water content. Happy Chanukah!
    (Side note: couldn’t agree with you more re: toddlers and fritters. I make your broccoli ones regular for our 18 month old daughter and can’t wait to try the cauliflower.)

  67. I made these for Hanukkah this year and they were AMAZING! I made a few other types of latkes, but these were the star!

  68. I went to your website to look at your recipes as you are coming to our city to introduce your cooking book. I tried this recipe with some modifications (as I did not have all the ingredients) and loved it.

    What I especially liked was how it was not greasy and firm, crunchy and flavorful. You have a wonderful eye for cooking and hope to see you in Louisville, KY!

  69. deb, i finally made these today after dreaming about them for almost a year. my husband is diabetic+jewish so these are a perfect alternative to potato latkes. thank you so much for the inspiration!

  70. So last December at your Philadelphia stop on the book tour, you asked if anyone had made these parsnip latkes, and you knew no one really had but challenged us all to make them. Well it only took me 10 months, and parsnips came in my CSA box, and I finally made them. And I’m ashamed it took me so long because they really were quite lovely.

  71. AS A MATTER OF FACT I’ve got some parsnips in my hoop house that are dying to be made into these latkes . . . they just don’t know it yet! Thank you! This looks delicious!

  72. Had wanted to make these for Chanukah but ran out of time, so did them last night. They are amazing! Family didn’t even know they were eating parsnips. Thank you!! Interestingly, there wasn’t much water to squeeze out — the absence of onions??

  73. Deb:

    I love your site, and your book. I made these once, mistakenly with too much fat in the pan.

    Last night I made them with Sweet Potatoes instead of Potatoes, and added a couple dash of cinnamon and parsley. They were excellent.

    Thanks for the inspiration.
    mlb

  74. We made these latkes again tonight for the last night of Hanukkah–with the horseradish-dill sour cream–and they were the MOST PERFECT latkes I have ever made and tasted just amazing. I usually squeeze but the shreds seemed very dry so I (gleefully) skipped it. The latkes shared the plate with lamb chops and asparagus, but I could have just had these guys for dinner and been blissfully happy. Oh, the horseradish! <3

    Happy Hanukkah!