When it comes to latke, don’t battle with nostalgia. Sometimes, one man’s greasy is another man’s gratifying!
Chaya egged me on to make a healthy Hanukkah posting. I experimented over two weekends during Hanukkah to finally produce the response to Chaya’s challenge. On the first weekend, I used root vegetables and on the second I used cabbage. Both the results were finger-licking good, as endorsed by my tasters, and off-the-meters on the health-o-meter: very little oil and chock-full of veggies. Believe me, a very very palatable way to consume your vegetables. Not sure how to interpret this but I was constantly hearing “can’t believe this is cabbage” 🙂
I wanted a different presentation, so I went for this roll. It has many advantages. Firstly, you don’t need to make individual latke hovering over a hot plancha (like I did last year at a friend’s Hanukkah party). Secondly, you can fold in goat cheese (or any other filling of your choice) right into the body.
Instead of eggs, I used besan (chickpea flour) as a binder. It imparts an interesting taste, lends a light-crispy bind of the veggies and keeps the vegetarians in your guest mix even happier. Also, Chaya assures me that besan is kosher. Enjoy the oblong latke!
Parchment paper or silicone silpat; Food processor or grater.
- 2.5 cups shredded cabbage + 2 julienned turnips + 1/2 sliced onion
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder + salt to taste + pepper
- 1/3 cup besan
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 cup goat cheese for filling
- sour cream or drained homemade yogurt for serving
Mix all the ingredients well. The vegetables have a natural moisture that will wet the dry flour (besan). If that does not work for you, then add 1-2 tbsps of water and lightly mix. Line a baking tray with parchment or silpat: you need this to help you roll. Make a mat of the mix on the parchment, about 1 cm in thickness. Loosely pat it down and level off the edges, make sure the edge is not very thin as it may cook much faster than the rest. Bake in the middle rack, at 400 F for 25 mins. Check on it for the last 10 minutes, to rotate the sheet or pull it out of the oven if already done.
Rest the baked vegetables for 10 mins or so till it is cool enough to handle but not complete cold. Dot the top with little blobs of goat cheese. Then holding down the parchment sheet with one hand roll the vegetables (like you roll the mat for sushi rolls). The parchment paper will be completely on the outside. Tighten and shape the roll and let rest for a few minutes. Then remove the parchment and discard. Cut the cylinder diagonally with a sharp knife and serve with sour cream or yogurt.
Notes, hints, tips:
- If you have a silicone silpat, you should use that. In fact, it is very convenient as well as effective.
- Besan is available at Asian (Indian) groceries, or you can simply order over the internet.
- You want to create a loose mat of vegetables; so do not press down too hard, only lightly.
- You can use root vegetables (celeriac, sweet potatoes, turnip etc instead of or in addition to cabbage). If you use a fine shredder in your processor, you can use about 4 (loose) cups on the silpat mat: for example, 1.5 cups shredded brussel sprouts + 1.5 cups shredded sweet potato + 1 cup shredded turnip.
- You could also add shredded potatoes, then you don’t need to any further binder, since the starch in the potatoes will hold the mat together.
- Cutting the log diagonally gives more volume to each latke; but, feel free to cut them into round disks. Use a sharp knife. I tried to first use a serrated bread knife, but found that a regular sharp chef’s knife was a better choice.