Swap Out Potatoes With Cauliflower For A Low-Carb Twist On Latkes

Latkes are comforting, fried potato and onion pancakes that aren't just traditional Hanukkah foods, but also popular menu items at delis, breakfast restaurants, and farmers market food stalls. Of course, what's not to like about fried potatoes? If the answer is the high carb content, then you can swap out potatoes for cauliflower without sacrificing flavor or adding extra steps.

Cauliflower has become quite the chameleon over the past few decades, substituting all kinds of carbs, from rice to pizza crusts. It's already a longstanding low-carb alternative for mashed potatoes. Cauliflower's nutty and mildly savory flavor profile is easy to adapt with seasonings to fit any recipe, while its tender yet juicy texture crisps up beautifully in the frier. The swap is seamless and requires less prep work than peeling, boiling, and shredding potatoes. Simply quartering a cauliflower, boiling or steaming it, then mashing the cooked florets is all it takes. You can make the process even easier by using packaged cauliflower rice. Both types of cauliflower will work as a swap in these classic potato latkes from Tasting Table recipe developer Alexandra Shytsman.

Just as with traditional potato latkes, the key to achieving that crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside contrast is to drain as much water from the latke batter as possible. The best strategy is to work in batches, placing the cooked cauliflower and raw onions into a cheesecloth to wring out the excess water.

Latke tips and garnishes

While wringing the water out of latkes is essential for creating crispy latkes, there are more tips to help achieve the tastiest results. Many potato latke recipes recommend reserving the starchy water from the potatoes, extracting the starch that collects, and adding it to the latke batter to maximize crispiness when frying. Since cauliflower water has no starch, you can add a dash of cornstarch for the same binding and crisping effects. When frying cauliflower latkes, make sure to give them space in the frying pan – overcrowding your pan with latkes will prevent steam from escaping, resulting in soggy latkes.

Another important ingredient that binds and provides flavor to latkes is the matzo meal. Most traditional Jewish recipes use matzo meal instead of wheat flour, the argument being that it makes for a tastier, lighter center. Considering how fluffy matzo balls are, the argument has its merits! While applesauce and sour cream are the traditional accompaniments to serve with latkes at the Hanukkah table, you can think outside the box. You can layer your cauliflower latkes with lox, creme fraiche, and capers. Sandwich melted cheese and tuna between two cauliflower latkes for a twist on the classic tuna melt. Or, a creamy horseradish sauce or remoulade sauce would pair wonderfully with latkes.