Saturday, October 15, 2011

Petit Hakurei Turnip Latkes - Darling Hors D'Oeuvres

I feel there is a movement trending to use the technique of grating or shredding in food preparation. Most recently I experienced at least a half dozen presentations of 'slaws' at the Savour Stratford's tasting event.

When I considered how to use my Hakurei turnips from my latest CSA basket from Roots and Shoots Farm, I saw slaw.

But the raw turnip does have a strong taste. My idea to temper that flavour was to make them into mini latkes. I was feeling quite genius until I hit Google and saw that this has been done MANY times before.

A number of the recipes were the same. Just a basic latke recipe. Since I had never made latkes, let alone Hakurei turnip latkes, I kept things simple.

The result was 'Green Acres meet Park Avenue'. They made for beautiful hors d'oeuvres. The mister thought they would have been divine served with bubbles. On this, I would have to agree.

Petit Hakurei Turnip Latkes

Hakurei turnips (I used my entire bunch)
1/2 onion chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Sour cream
maple syrup
plum jam

Clean the turnips. Cut off the greens and end. Peel. Using a box grater, grate the turnips. Press all the moisture out of the shredded turnip. I used a big paper towel and twisted it at both ends in opposite directions. You may need to use a second paper towel.

Whisk an egg into a medium bowl. Add the wrung out turnip, salt and pepper. Mix. Sprinkle the flour over the turnip and mix. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes.

Heat oil in pan. (Do not use olive oil as it is not a good oil for frying. I used canola oil.) Drop a piece of turnip in the pan. When it sizzles, it is time to make the latkes. Drop a teaspoon of the latke mixture into the oil and flatten with the back of the spoon. If your oil is hot enough, the latkes should not stick to the pan or absorb the oil. Make sure the oil is not so hot that it is smoking. If they brown too quickly, they may not cook properly in the centre.

Once they have turned a golden brown, flip them and finish frying on the other side. You are frying them for approximately 2 minutes a side.

Place the cooked latkes on a paper towel to blot any excess oil.

Serve toasty warm with the garnish of your choice. Sour cream or a dip with a sour cream base is quite common.

You can keep them in a warm oven until they are ready to be used. They would hold up well made ahead and reheated.


  1. Your blog is the perfect companion to a CSA farm! As you so accurately pointed out, farmers are challenged to find time to blog when the field work is so demanding.

    I am adding your latke recipe to my files for next year since many of my 2011 CSA members were a little stumped when faced with their Hakurei and Scarlet Queen Turnips.I'm perfectly content to eat them raw...but I might be among the minority!

    Your end of season evaluation also provided some inspiration for our upcoming season. Keep it coming!

  2. Sheila/Joe: Thank you for the supportive comments. It was a joy to be a CSA shareholder with Roots and Shoots Farm again this season. I wish you well with your beautiful place at Wellspring Gardens. It's a labour of love, isn't it.

  3. Looks like a good idea. I thought it was my imagination or random coincidence of what I ordered that more restaurants seemed to be grating things.

  4. omg - looooove latkes! will have to try this recipe! thanks!

    Katherine - Heartfelt


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