We had an early Hanukkah celebration over the weekend (as if Hanukkah wasn’t early enough this year), and these gluten-free, dairy-free butternut squash latkes were the surprise hit of the night. Moist and flavorful, they stole the show, leaving the ordinary potato latkes sitting on the plate. Spiced with cumin, curry and cinnamon (the perfect trifecta of spices), the latkes have a slight pumpkin taste that’s perfect this year for Thanksgivukkah.
It’s actually easier to make butternut squash latkes than potato latkes, because the squash can be peeled and cut in advance, it doesn’t turn brown when exposed to air and it doesn’t weep water like grated potatoes do. While potato latkes are traditional, Hanukkah is about the miracle of the oil, not about the miracle of potatoes. So fry these butternut squash latkes in some oil and create a new Hanukkah tradition.
Butternut Squash Latkes, Gluten-Free
- 1 pound (5 cups) butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into large chunks
- 1 medium onion, peeled
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Canola oil
- Using the top shredding disc on a food processor, grate the butternut squash and onion.
- Place squash and onion in a large bowl. Mix in potato starch.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat eggs. Beat in cumin, curry, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour eggs into the squash and mix well.
- Pour canola oil into two frying pans, so that there’s a thin layer of oil covering the bottom of each pan; heat over medium-high heat. To test if oil is hot, sprinkle in a drop of water; if the water sizzles then the oil is ready. Drop scant 1/4 cup of squash mixture into the pan. Flatten pancakes slightly with spatula and fry until golden brown on the bottom, then flip and cook the other side. Repeat with remaining squash mixture, adding oil between batches if necessary.
- Place cooked latkes on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain excess oil. Keep the latkes warm in a 250-degree oven while you make additional batches.
- Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
Yield: About 24 latkes