I’m not going to lie. Crispy, golden fried foods are one of my favourite things about Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. But for the sake of doing things a bit lighter, my mother taught me how to swap potatoes in traditional latke recipes with zucchini and carrots, and convinced me they can be just as delicious baked. This recipe is also my sneaky way of filling my kids up on veggies. What it lacks in extra oil and crunch, it makes up for in bright and earthy flavour.
Love this baked latke recipe? Try this chocolate babka recipe next!
The trick to crispier baked latkes is to start with a very dry grated vegetable mix by squeezing it in cheesecloth or a tea towel to drain the water.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper and brush generously with olive oil.
With the large shredding blade on your food processor, grate the zucchini, carrots and onion. A box grater on the side with the large holes works fine, too.
Line a bowl with cheesecloth or a tea towel, and place the grated zucchini, carrot and onion inside, wrapping the cloth up and twisting at the top to create a parcel with your hands. Working over the bowl to catch the liquid, continue to twist and squeeze the wrapped vegetable mixture with both hands until you’ve removed as much water as possible. (Put some muscle into it! The more water you can squeeze out, the crispier the latkes will turn out.)
Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Add the egg, flour, salt and pepper.
Using a small scoop or your hands, take about 3 Tbsp of the mixture and form into flat 3-inch patties, about ½-inch thick. If the mixture is still too wet, squeeze out any remaining liquid into an empty bowl.
Place latkes on oiled baking sheet, brushing tops with oil, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until tops are lightly brown.
Remove latkes from oven. Flip latkes over and change temperature to broil and return to oven.
Broil for about 3 minutes or until latkes are nice and toasted, sizzling and edges are crispy. (Watch them carefully here. They can burn easily.)
Serve hot from the oven with a side of sour cream and chives, or apple sauce.