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Appetizers, Sides, Vegetarian

Olive latkes

Olive latkes
Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

"What makes a potato pancake a latke?" my younger daughter asked me last week, just before the eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah, which begins this year on Sunday evening (all Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before). A latke, ... Read more

Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 8 (makes about 16 latkes)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups finely chopped pitted green or black brined olives, thoroughly drained
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water (optional)

Step 1In a medium saute pan, heat one-fourth cup of oil and saute the onion and garlic till golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Step 2Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cumin. Beat in the eggs and onion and garlic mixture with a fork. Stir in the olives and add water, as needed, if the mixture seems too thick.

Step 3Heat one-fourth cup of the remaining oil in the pan and use a small cup or soup ladle to form 3 to 4 latkes. Fry on both sides till golden. Repeat until all the batter is used, adding additional oil as needed for frying. Transfer the latkes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve with thick yogurt or sour cream.

Note: This is an unusual latke that truly celebrates the olive.

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