Parsnip or cheese latkes Where theres oil, theres tradition

Parsnip pancakes or spinach-feta silver dollars — could these qualify as designer latkes?

Absolutely! Latkes don’t have to be made just with potatoes, although it seems that is the classic Eastern European Chanukah dish. Many Jews of Eastern European ancestry and many Sephardic Jews make their latkes with other kinds of vegetables and some even with fruit.

The common denominator here is that all are fried in oil, which commemorates the miracle of the synagogue lamps that burned for eight days on one day's supply of oil.

A latke by any other name is still a delicious tradition for Chanukah.

Spinach and Feta Latkes | Makes about 20

3 10-oz. packs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and water squeezed out

2 cups chopped green onions

4 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup chopped fresh dill,

or 1-1/2 Tbs. dried

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbs. chopped fresh

tarragon, or 2 tsp. dried

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground pepper

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 oz.)

2/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 3 oz.)

olive oil

Combine spinach, chopped green onions, eggs, flour, chopped dill, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Mix well. Fold in crumbled feta cheese. (Mixture can be prepared three hours ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate. Stir to blend before continuing.) Fold chopped walnuts into spinach mixture.

Cover bottom of large nonstick skillet with olive oil. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, drop spinach mixture into skillet by heaping tablespoonfuls. Fry until pancakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes a side.

Transfer each batch of pancakes to 300-degree oven to keep warm. Serve hot.

Parsnip Carrot Latkes | Makes about 12

8 oz. yams, peeled and grated

8 oz. carrots, peeled and


8 oz. parsnips, peeled and grated

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup chopped green onions

salt and pepper

2 eggs, beaten

oil for frying

Combine grated vegetables and squeeze out excess water from them. Place in mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients except oil. Mix until well blended.

In a large skillet heat oil. Working in batches, drop 2 heaping tablespoons batter into hot oil. Spread each latke into a 4-inch round with back of a spoon. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes a side.

Transfer to a 300-degree oven. Continue until batter is used up. Serve hot.

Louise Fiszer is a Palo Alto cooking teacher, author and the co-author of “Jewish Holiday Cooking.” Her columns alternate with those of Rebecca Ets-Hokin. Questions and recipe ideas can be sent to j. or to [email protected]