Give Your Latkes An Upgrade With Shredded Brussels Sprouts

Latkes are a quintessential Jewish tradition and a delicious representation of the miraculous story behind the eight nights of Hanukkah.  A classic latke recipe blends potatoes, onions, egg, and matzo meal into hearty and comforting pancakes that obtain crispy edges and soft, tender interiors after frying in oil. While it's hard to find a flaw in this simple, traditional recipe, adding Brussels sprouts is the flavor and texture upgrade you never knew you needed.

Hanukkah celebrations occur in December, coinciding with peak Brussels sprouts season, making them an available and fresh ingredient to shred along with your potatoes. If you've ever delighted in the crunchy, slightly charred outer leaves of roasted Brussels sprouts fresh out of the oven, then you've had a preview of the flavor and texture boost they'll bring to latkes. Shredding the Brussels sprouts means they'll be thin enough to crisp up as they fry, punctuating the soft potato interior of each latke with a delightful crunch. Frying the Brussels sprouts will emphasize their robust vegetal bitterness, adding a sophisticated depth of flavor to complement the earthy savoriness of the potatoes and the buttery richness of the eggs. They make an easy addition to latke batter, using the same shredding equipment and providing fibrous volume for a sturdier end result. Plus, they'll bring a bright pop of green and a healthy serving of vitamins and fiber to the mix.

Tips for adding Brussels sprouts to your latkes

A ratio of 3 parts Brussels to 4 parts potatoes will ensure that your latkes are green and crispy while also providing the tender decadence of fried potatoes. The easiest way to shred your ingredients is by using a food processor. You won't have to change attachments as you can run the onion, potatoes, and Brussels through the same grater. If you don't have a food processor, a mandolin or a sharp knife will shred the veggies just fine. You can also find pre-shredded Brussels sprouts at many grocery stores to further cut down on your prep time. 

Potatoes and onions have a high water content, and the addition of Brussels sprouts brings even more water to the batter. Therefore, it's important to strain your shredded vegetables before adding eggs, seasonings, and matzo meal. You can line your mixing bowl with cheesecloth to efficiently wrap and condense the shredded veggies you add to the bowl. For good measure, give each latke a squeeze before throwing it in the frying pan. Sour cream and apple sauce are typical latke garnishes, but you can also get more creative. The bitterness and savoriness of the Brussels sprouts would pair well with a Dijon vinaigrette. You could also drizzle balsamic reduction over a sour cream topper for a sweet complement.