Tonight is the final night of Hanukkah, a great opportunity to gather with friends and family to share a meal. For an appetizer, you might want to serve this dish, in which tender smoked salmon and velvety crème fraîche are the perfect foil for crispy latkes made from a mixture of potatoes and zucchini. Be sure to serve the latkes as soon as possible after frying them, because they won’t stay crisp for long.
Zucchini Latkes with Smoked Salmon and Crème Fraîche
For the latkes:
1 lb. (500 g) russet potatoes, peeled
1 lb. (500 g) zucchini
1 large yellow onion, peeled, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
Olive oil for frying
1 cup (8 oz./250 g) crème fraîche
36 small slices smoked salmon
Finely snipped fresh chives for garnish
Preheat an oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
To make the latkes, using the fine grating attachment of a food processor, grate the potatoes, zucchini and onion into a bowl. Transfer the mixture to a kitchen towel and squeeze to remove the excess liquid.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs with salt and pepper. Add the grated potato, zucchini and onion and the flour and toss to thoroughly combine.
In a large fry pan over medium heat, pour olive oil to a depth of 1/2 inch (12 mm). Heat the oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, drop the batter into the oil, using 1 heaping Tbs. per latke. Press down on the latkes with the back of a spatula and cook until crisp and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the latkes to the prepared baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven while cooking the remaining latkes.
To serve, top each latke with a generous teaspoon of the crème fraîche and a slice of smoked salmon. Garnish with chives and serve immediately. Makes about 3 dozen latkes; serves 12.
Williams-Sonoma Test Kitchen