I don’t know, maybe the idea of beet latkes is going to be a hard sell for some of you out there. But if you’ve already made it to the second sentence of this post, you may as well stick around and see what’s up, I think you’ll be happy you did. For me it’s not the holidays without at least one batch of potato latkes, and bright ruby red beets make a colorful and delicious twist on that tradition. I originally envisioned a rainbow of root vegetables, from rutabaga and turnip, to all shades of beets, but I quickly realized that with five days till Christmas that was a tad too ambitious. That’s ok, though, the color and flavor of red beets is perfect for these fritters, they turned out great. The first crispy bite is reminiscent of a classic potato latke, but then the flavor of the tender beets comes through, and the horseradish crème fraîche adds the perfect zippy touch at the end.
I tossed in some fresh chive and dill with the shredded beets, and then added the requisite egg and flour to make the simple fritter recipe. When you drop the little ruby red piles into the hot oil you should hear an immediate sizzle, that tells you the oil is hot enough to give you the crispy crust that distinguishes a good latke from a soggy one. The shredded beets cook in the time it takes both sides to brown, about a couple of minutes or so per side. The zesty sauce can be stirred together while the latkes fry.
- 3 medium beets, peeled and shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 Tbsp all purpose four
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
- palmful of snipped fresh chives
- palmful of dill leaves, rough chopped
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1/3 cup crème fraîche
- 2 Tbsp creamed horseradish
- Peel the beets and shred them. You can use a box grater, or a food processor. Pat them dry with paper towels.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl, and add the beets, flour, salt, pepper and the herbs. Toss everything to combine well.
- Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the beets into the pan, flattening them out into little patties. Fry until golden on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
- Stir together the horseradish and the crème fraîche to make the sauce. Serve the latkes hot with the sauce on the side.
You can keep the latkes warm in a 300F oven while you finish cooking the rest of the batch. You can also reheat them that way.