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Potato Latkes with Celeriac Root and Apple

March 29, 2021
Photo: Cole SmothersPhoto: Cole Smothers

Years ago, when I started writing about food, Hanukkah meant potato latkes. Period. Now, some of my favorite latke varieties include zucchini, sweet potato curry, or variations on the traditional potato that include such additions as celery root (also known as celeriac) and apple.

Featured in: A Twist on the Traditional Latke

Great for: Hanukkah


  • 1pound Russet potatoes, peeled
  • ¼celeriac root (about 4 ounces)
  • 1apple, such as a Granny Smith, cored and unpeeled
  • ½small onion (about 1/2 cup grated)
  • 2large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼to 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, Panko, or flour
  • ½teaspoon fresh thyme or marjoram, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Optional garnishes: applesauce, crème fraiche or sour cream
Yield: about 15 latkes


  • Step 1

    Using a grater or food processer equipped with a grating blade, grate the potatoes, celeriac root, apple and onion.

  • Step 2

    Put the grated foods together in a mesh strainer or tea towel and squeeze out all the liquid. Once drained, put in a bowl.

  • Step 3

    Add the egg, breadcrumbs, Panko, or flour, thyme or marjoram and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, add a little more breadcrumbs, Panko or flour so the mixture holds together.

  • Step 4

    Heat a griddle or large, 12-inch non-stick pan and coat with 1/8 inch of oil.

  • Step 5

    Take about 3 tablespoons of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten into a circle, about 3-inches in diameter.

  • Step 6

    Carefully slide the latke into the oil. Repeat with about 3 at a time separated by an inch or so. Using a spatula, press to flatten the latkes and fry for about 5 minutes on one side or until golden. Flip the latke and cook for another couple of minutes until golden on the other side.

  • Step 7

    Remove the latke and drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately with garnishes of your liking.

  • To make crispy latkes, remove as much liquid as possible from the grated potatoes, onions, celeriac, and apple. Be sure to fry the latkes in hot, but not smoking, oil. I try to use as little breadcrumbs as possible and test a few latkes to see if they stay together before cooking the rest.