Hanukkah is coming up fast, and I must confess that of all the chaggim, it’s my least favorite when it comes to food. Too much oil, too much frying (which I hate), too many wasted calories. So when my friend Jessica Apple, who is the Editor in Chief of “A Sweet Life“, a comprehensive website for the diabetic community, asked me to come up with a low carb latke recipe she could publish for Hanukkah, I was excited to take up the challenge. In addition to nixing white flour, potatoes and of course sugar, I also elected to eliminate the pan frying stage, as there’s nothing I dislike doing more in the kitchen than frying food (except for washing dishes).
Using cauliflower as the creamy base instead of potatoes significantly reduces the calories. But the addition of leeks, zucchini, fresh dill and parsley means these latkes aren’t low on flavor. When my daughter tasted them, knowing they were made with cauliflower, which she doesn’t usually like, she said: “Make these for Hanukkah this year!” For me, that’s the real taste test.
These oven baked latkes are my personal Hanukkah miracle as the baking means minimal use of oil, and whatever oil you spread on the baking paper that isn’t directly underneath the latke batter does NOT get absorbed. In addition, you can bake about 24 latkes at once on two baking trays, without having to hover over a hot pan of oil for ages. It’s win-win-win!
So Happy Hanukkah to all, and may the coming year be filled with miracles and light.
OVEN BAKED CAULIFLOWER, ZUCCHINI AND LEEK LATKES
½ head of a small cauliflower (about two cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small leek
1 small zucchini
2 tablespoons whole wheat (or white) self-raising flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons Canola oil
How to do it
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
2. Wash the cauliflower, cut into small florets and steam until the cauliflower has just softened (about 10 minutes). When the cauliflower is ready, place the pieces on a cutting board and chop (I smack it with the back of a chef’s knife – as you would garlic – and then do a rough chop). You don’t want any large chunks but it doesn’t have to be pureed.
3. Cut the white part of the leek lengthways and then cut each half lengthways again so you have the four quarters of the leek, and finely chop the leek (each slice should be about 2-3 mm). Saute in a pan in which you’ve heated the olive oil.
4. Grate the zucchini on a coarse grater and add to the leek, stirring until both the leek and the zucchini have softened (about 5 minutes), and set aside to cool.
5. In a bowl, beat the eggs and add the herbs and seasoning. Add the vegetables (make sure they have cooled slightly so they don’t cook the eggs) and mix.
6. Add the flour and mix together.
7. Place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray and spread the Canola oil on the paper evenly. Drop about one tablespoon of the mixture on the paper and flatten it a bit with the spoon or a spatula.
8. Bake for 15 minutes. Then turn over each latke and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until both sides are browned (you don’t have to add more oil – there will be oil left on the paper).
9. Place the latkes on a double layer of paper towel to dab off any excess oil.
Serve with sour cream or lemon wedges.
This recipes makes about 12 latkes.