Zucchini Latkes with Mint & Meyer Lemon Labneh
Panfried zucchini cakes are given a major boost with mint and Meyer lemon.
Latkes are fried potato pancakes traditionally made to celebrate Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights. But the frying is the symbolic part of the recipe, not the potato. This latke is made with grated zucchini and mint, which makes for a lighter pancake so good that even the kids won’t know they are eating their greens! Paired with a labneh (strained yogurt) spiked with Meyer lemon juice and zest, the flavor is vibrant and bright. You can serve this pretty pancake any time of year for an elegant appetizer or side dish.
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; box grater or food processor with a shredder disc; measuring spoons; dry measuring cups; mixing bowls; spoons; reamer or fork; microplane or zester; large sauté pan; offset heatproof spatula
1 cup labneh juice and zest of two Meyer Lemons
6 medium zucchini, skin-on (or 4 large)
½ bunch mint leaves (stems discarded), chiffonade
3 tablespoons matzo meal
1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
½ teaspoon white pepper or to taste
vegetable oil for frying
1. First make the labneh. Combine the Meyer Lemon zest and juice with the labneh. Season with salt, if desired. Set aside.
2. To make the latkes, grate the zucchini either in a box grater or in a food processor. Place the grated zucchini on a clean dish towel. Gather the dish towel to enclose the zucchini and squeeze as much of the liquid from the zucchini as possible.
3. Combine the strained zucchini, mint, salt, pepper, matzo meal and eggs in a large bowl. Beat well with a fork to combine.
4. Heat 1 inch of vegetable oil (or any high flashpoint oil) in a sauté pan. Once the oil is hot and shimmering—but NOT smoking—add ¼-cup dollops of latke batter to the oil and flatten with the back of a heatproof spatula. Cook the latkes for 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Be sure to manage the heat source so that the oil does not smoke (likely medium to medium-low).
5. Drain the latkes on a tray or plate lined with paper towels. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of salt and the Meyer lemon labneh, or keep warm until service in a 250F oven.
Makes 4-6 servings.